International shot putter Inderjeet Singh has got the go-ahead from the sports ministry to train in the US for five months ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
There was a deadlock between the ministry and Inderjeet on the role of Shakti Singh, a former thrower, during the proposed training stint, beginning later this month.
Inderjeet, in his proposal, which will be funded by the ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), had stated that he was to be accompanied by coach Pritam Singh and manager-cum-mentor Shakti Singh. The ministry had raised doubts on the latter’s role. Under TOPS, Inderjeet would be sanctioned Rs 30 lakh.
According to a ministry official, Shakti, as coach-cum-manager, had failed to guide Om Prakash Singh Karhana before the 2012 London Games and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. “Since Shakti did not prove himself, the government wasn’t keen to send him,” said the official.
Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general, Injeti Srinivas, said since Inderjeet stayed firm, his proposal was cleared. The ministry had also raised concerns over the venue — Aphelion Athletics Club in Pennsylvania, where Inderjeet would be training. “The government was of the opinion that he should have chosen a better club for training.”
Meanwhile, sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the Indian contingent would bag more than 10 medals at the Rio Games. Among the medal winners would be the men’s hockey team. The ministry said the government came to this conclusion after a comprehensive review meeting with the respective federations and Indian Olympic Association (IOA).