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SAI nod for training cost of Olympic-bound Indian players

Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and star wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia. File Photos: Twitter

New Delhi, June 18 (MNN) The Sports Authority of India on Friday allowed continuation of overseas training of several Olympics-bound players till the start of Tokyo Olympics next month, including nod to tennis player Sania Mirza’s proposal on fees of her coach and physiotherapist for seven weeks.

Sania has been training under Dubai-based Spanish coach Cesar Ferrer-Victoria. Her proposal has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 12.58 lakh.

Earlier, the government helped the Hyderabad star by arranging a visa for her son and caretaker for her competitions in the UK, including Wimbledon.

The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), a review committee of SAI, also said that Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and star wrestler Vinesh Phogat will continue to train in their respective locations.

The governing body said that Chopra’s proposal to begin training in Uppsala in Sweden from June 21 in continuation of his stay along with his coach Klaus Bartonietz and physiotherapist in Portugal since June 6 has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 34.87 lakh.

Chopra, 23, had recently made a winning return to the international circuit after more than a year when he threw a decent 83.16m in a Lisbon event, which was part of his training-cum-competition stint in Europe.

The apex sports body said that the government has supported Neeraj to the tune of Rs 1.61 crore in this Olympic cycle through the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition and the Target Olympic Podium Scheme, while spending Rs 1.81 crore on Vinesh in this Olympic cycle.

Phogat, 26, had claimed the 53kg gold at Poland Open earlier this month to keep her Olympic preparations on track. She has been based in Europe since late April.

The government approved to continue her training which now includes a 10-day training camp in Talinn, Estonia, and 16-day camp in Budapest, Hungary.

She will be assisted by her coach Woller Akos and physiotherapist Poornima Raman Ngomdir. The proposal has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 9.01 lakh.

The SAI also sanctioned the proposed cost of Rs 2.53 lakh for wrestler Bajrang Punia, who is training for men’s 65kg freestyle in Vladikavkaz, Russia.

He is already sparring with 2019 70kg world champion David Baev. The government has so far spent Rs 2.06 crores on Bajrang in this Olympic cycle.

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