Ministry sanctions 1.59 cr for tennis players` Oly preparation

New Delhi: Rising men`s singles star Somdev Devvarman is the biggest beneficiary, getting a lion`s share of the USD 318,000 (Rs 1.59 crore approx) sanctioned by the Sports Ministry for seven tennis players` preparation for the London Olympics this year.

Somdev, at USD 6,000 per month for 24 months, has been allocated USD 87,000 for hiring personal coach and other training related expenses.

"An amount of Rs 1.59 crore has been sanctioned so far under `Operation Excellence for London Olympics 2012` (OPEX 2012) scheme through National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) for the training of tennis players till December 2011," the Sports Ministry said in a statement.

"This was stated by All India Tennis Association (AITA) Executive Director Col. RS Chauhan, in review meeting of the preparation for Olympics, 2012, called by Shri Ajay Maken, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports," it added.

As all the players in the core group are professionals, they have been provided USD 6000/ per month as financial assistance under NSDF scheme or meeting expenses for their training and competitions under NSDF.

Doubles veteran Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have been sanctioned the amount for 14 months, while the injury-ravaged Sania Mirza has been sanctioned the money for 13 and half months.

Rohan Bopanna, Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh have been granted the amount for 13 months.

Besides, two more players -- Isha Lakhani and Rutuja Bhonsle -- have been sanctioned an amount of USD 3000 per month for training grants and hiring of a trainer with effect from this month.


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