The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved proposals by Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia for training in Kyrgystan and Hungary as they prepare for the upcoming trials for the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
The duo, who along with fellow Olympian Sakshi Malik, was leading a protest by wrestlers against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh till a few days back, sent in their proposals to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) TOPS team and the same was cleared within 24 hrs of their request.
While Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang Punia will head out to Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan for 36 days training camp, World Championships medallist Vinesh Phogat will first head out to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for a week-long training camp and then to Tata, Hungary for 18 days of training, the ministry informed in a release on Thursday.
While Vinesh will be accompanied by physiotherapist Ashwini Jeevan Patil, sparring partner Sangeeta Phogat and coach Sudesh, Bajrang will be accompanied by coach Sujeet Maan, physiotherapist Anuj Gupta, sparring partner Jitender and strength and conditioning expert Kaazi Hasan.
The government will fund Vinesh, Bajrang, their sparring partners, Sangeeta Phogat and Jitender, and coaches Sudesh and Sujeet Maan's air tickets, board and lodging costs, camp expenses, airport transfer costs, OPA and other miscellaneous costs.
Additionally, the cost for the other support staff accompanying the wrestlers will be borne by Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ). Both Vinesh and Bajrang are set to leave in the first week of July.