Manjit Singh requests sports ministry to include him in TOP Scheme after Asiad gold

first_imgAsian Games 2018 gold medallist Manjit Singh, who doesn’t have a regular job, has requested the sports ministry to include him in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) to prepare for the upcoming big events like the 2020 Tokyo Games.Manjit, who won a gold in the men’s 800m race in the Asian Games, was left without a job in March 2016 after ONGC refused to extend his contract as he was not producing results.Despite the odds, he continued training under army coach Amrish Kumar before getting a National Camp call-up.Asian Games 2018: Jinson Johnson not surprised with Manjit Singh’s 800m gold”I lost my job in March 2016 as the ONGC refused to renew my contract. They said I was not producing results. I was getting stipends earlier,” he said.Asian Games 2018 men’s 800m: Manjit Singh wins gold, Jinson Johnson gets silver”But now I have won a gold in Asian Games. I hope the sports ministry will take notice of my achievement and the hardships I am facing. I don’t have any sponsor or any company giving me assistance. I am hoping that the Sports Ministry will include me in the TOP Scheme so that I can continue training,” Manjit told PTI during an interaction.India sign off with best ever medal haul in their Asian Games historyThe international season is over now and Manjit said next year will be crucial for him as the Asian Championships and World Championships are lined up.”I want to do well in both the Asian Championships and World Championships next year. After that is the 2020 Olympics but for that I need financial assistance for training. I hope the sports ministry will help me out,” he added.advertisementAsian Games 2018: Manjit Singh proud to win gold for IndiaThe 29-year-old Manjit, a native of village Ujhana in Jind district of Haryana, said he was on the verge of quitting the sport when the ONGC refused to renew his contract two years back.”I was feeling very low and I did not know what to do. I am from a farmer’s family and my family cannot afford to send big amount of money for my training. But somehow I continued with help from my coach Amrish Kumar,” he said.”I briefly thought I would quit athletics but my father (a former state level shot putter) said I should continue and so I continued with the meagre income from my family.”Manjit earned a spot in the Indian athletics team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games but failed to qualify for the final round. He finished fourth in the Asian Championships in Pune in 2013 and won a silver medal in the Federation Cup in 2014.His first and last gold medal until the recent win came in 2013 and he admitted that he mostly finished second in Nationals. He was not selected for the CWG and Asian Games in 2014.In 2015, Manjit moved to Bareilly and trained under Amrish Kumar, a former Army man who trained athletes at Jat Regiment Centre.He approached the trainer after 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Naveen Kumar told him about the training. Manjit then won a silver in the Federation Cup in 2015.”It has been more than 10 years I began my career and I have faced a lot of disappointments in my career. But I did not lose hope and I knew I can do something big,” said Manjit who began competing in the national circuit in 2008.Asked about the 800m final he ran in Jakarta, he said, “My tactics was to run along with the leading pack and then take a chance in the final stretch. I was determined to do something.”Thank God, it was according to the script I had worked out. I had enough energy to make the final kick and overtake those who were ahead of me,” Manjit said.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Udanta Singh after India lose to UAE in AFC Asian Cup 2019: It hurts

first_imgIndian players probably walked back in disbelief to the dressing room after losing 2-0 in their second group game against host UAE in Asia Cup. Despite creating galore of chances, the team missed one chance too many and the best of the lot fell to Udanta Singh.Played through inside the box after a telepathic move with his national and club teammate Sunil Chhetri, the winger seemed to do everything right when he shot the ball past UAE goalkeeper Khalid Eisha. However, the ball agonizingly ricocheted off the post and probably ended any hope India had of making a comeback.”It really hurts when chances like those don’t go in. But it hurts more when the team loses. Whether I score it or not, the result matters. And after playing such a good game, if your team lose, obviously it pains,” the 22-year-old winger told Mail Today from Dubai.But while many are calling it bad luck given the commanding performance the Stephen Constantine and side gave yet again, one can’t ignore the impotency the Indian forwards have often shown in front of the goals barring star forward Sunil Chhetri.To quantify things, India had 9 shot attempts (three on target), while UAE made all their shot on target count.The scoring ability of the Indian forward line was in question before the side left for the Asia Cup. The team heavily relies on Chhetri when it comes to finding the net while other Indian strikers in Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumit Passi and Balwant Singh have had dismal strike rate this season.advertisementHowever, Udanta refrains from that line of thinking and feels the goal scoring problem can be taken care of in days to come.”We have created so many opportunities yesterday (Thursday). So tagging us wasteful is probably not the right thing. We scored four goals in the Thailand match but paid a heavy price for not taking our chances in this (UAE) match. We have plans for that and we have already started working on them,” said the Bengaluru FC player.On a positive note, the team certainly deserves some credit for their bold performance in the Asia Cup so far. While many were skeptic about team’s chances against UAE, Chhetri and boys fought an even battle against a higher-ranked opponent.But areas of concern popped up when India’s reliable centre-back pairing of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika were founding wanting in dealing with the pace of UAE forwards in both the goals.Udanta, who was seen putting in an extra shift to help right-back Pritam Kotal in defence in the last match, defended the backline despite the glaring mistakes on the night.”They (defenders) always play their heart out and they have done the same yesterday. Sandesh-bhai, Anas-bhai, Pritam, Subhasish, and others have risen the bar so high that we always expect more from them. Although we conceded two, they cut the attackers off so many times,” he explained.Despite the loss, India can feel positive about their chances to progress to the next round as beating Bahrain, who are yet to win a match in the competition, will give them safe passage to knockout stages. However, they can’t take things for granted, especially not with such shoddy finishing and inconsistent defending.Also Read | Stephen Constantine hits back at critics after India go down fighting vs UAEAlso Read | AFC trolls Indian fan wearing Argentina jersey in Asian Cup match against UAEAlso Reada | India lose Group A top spot after 0-2 defeat to UAElast_img read more