Winter Olympics-bound skier Arif Khan added to TOPS core group

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New Delhi, Jan 7: Indian alpine skier Mohammad Arif Khan on Friday was included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) core group, until next month’s Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

The 31-year-old Khan will take part in the Winter Olympics in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events. He is currently the only Indian to have secured a Beijing 2022 berth, after securing two quota spots last year.

“The Sports Ministry’s Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) has approved the inclusion of Alpine Skiing athlete Md Arif Khan in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Core group, until the Winter Olympics, scheduled this February in Beijing, China,” a release said.

“He has also been approved an amount of Rs 17.46 Lakh under TOPS towards training in Europe and procurement of equipment, ahead of the grand event in China,” it added.

The MOC approved the European training camp for Arif for a total of 35 days, which started after his qualification for the Winter Olympics. He earned the quota place for the Slalom event in November and then won a giant slalom quota in a competition in Montenegro in December last year.

The feat earned Khan the unique distinction of becoming the first Indian to win direct quota spots in two different Winter Olympics events.

Arif Khan is currently training at a camp in Austria along with his coach and physio. The Gulmarg-based athlete had won two gold medals, in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events, at the 2011 South Asian Winter Games, held in Uttarakhand.–(IANS)