From March 2015 to August 22, 2016, the sports ministry spent Rs 36.85 crore on India’s 117-strong Rio Olympics contingent under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). Although it’s far behind the world standard, it is the most India has spent on Olympic preparations. A closer look at the figures reveals some interesting findings. Mihir Vasavda takes a closer look at who got what for Rio preparations.
Rs 7.80 crore
Highest paid: Women’s 4x400m relay team (Rs2.94 crore). They were 2 seconds slower than the timing they recorded a month before the Olympics at the qualifers, and couldn’t go beyond the heats.
* Thirty out of the 36 athletes eligible under TOPS received funding. Multiple under-performers, including Vikas Gowda (Rs 1.02 crore), who finished 28th in his event, Seema Antil (Rs 53.98 lakh), who was 20th and Tintu Luka (Rs23.45 lakh), who couldn’t go beyond heats.
Rs 1.18 crore
Highest paid: Shiva Thapa (Rs 56.89 lakh), lost in first round
Shooting (12 athletes)
Rs 15.39 crore
Highest paid: Abhinav Bindra (Rs 2.37 crore), who finished fourth
Rs 1 crore club
Heena Sidhu (Rs 1.71 crore), Manavjit Sandhu (Rs 1.36 crore), Ayonika Paul (Rs 1.29 crore), PN Prakash (Rs 1.27 crore), Chain Singh (Rs 1.25 crore), Gagan Narang (Rs 1.17 crore), Gurpreet Singh (Rs 1.12 crore), Apurvi Chandela (Rs 1.05 crore), Jitu Rai (Rs 1.04 crore)
* It’s a heavy investment sport, considering most of the equipment has to be imported. However, for the first time since Sydney Olympics, India returned without a medal in shooting.
Rs 3.84 crore
Highest paid: Saina Nehwal (Rs 98.53 lakh), exited in group stage
* PV Sindhu (Rs 45.27 lakh), the eventual silver medallist, received lesser amount than K Srikanth (Rs 58.51 lakh), Jwala Gutta (Rs 46.73 lakh), Ashwini Ponappa (Rs 46.53 lakh) and B Sumeeth Reddy (Rs 45.45 lakh)
Rs 1.92 crore
Highest paid: Sania Mirza & Rohan Bopanna (Rs 60 lakh each), fourth in mixed doubles
Rs 8.53 lakh
Highest paid: Sajan Prakash & Shivani Kataria: Rs 4.26 lakh each, didn’t advance past heats.
Table tennis (4)
Rs 1.05 crore
Highest paid: Soumyajit Ghosh (Rs 28.96 lakh), lost in first round
Hockey (36, incl 2 standbys in men and women each)
Rs 1.16 crore
This amount is the out of pocket allowance received by the players — over and above what was spent on hockey via National Sport Development Fund.
Did not receive funding under TOPS
* Average spend per athlete: Rs 31 lakh approximately
Golf (2 golfers out of 3 selected for TOPS were funded)
Rs 6.91 lakh
Highest paid: Anirban Lahiri: Rs 3.71 lakh, finished 72nd
Rs 1.27 crore
Highest paid: Deepika Kumari (Rs 35.92 lakh), lost in round of 16
Rs 2.52 crore
Highest paid: Yogeshwar Dutt (Rs 49.01 lakh), lost in first round
* Bronze medal winner Sakshi Malik received least funding (Rs 15.86 lakh), less than half of what the other two women wrestlers – Vinesh Phogat (Rs 36.65 lakh) and Babita Kumari (Rs 31.74 lakh) got.
Dattu Bhokanal: (Rs 26.13 lakh), finished 13th, India’s best performance in Olympic rowing
Dipa Karmakar: (Rs 12.98 lakh), was fourth in vault
Avtar Singh: (Rs 12.09 lakh), lost in opening round