World number 5 para badminton player Sukant Kadam on Thursday expressed his disappointment after he was dropped from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), saying he has been excluded from the programme without any "justified reason".
Kadam, a 2018 Asian Para Games bronze medallist, took to twitter to express his disappointment to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on the Mission Olympic Cell's decision. "Hon'ble @KirenRijiju sir, It is very disappointing and discouraging to be excluded from #TOPScheme without any justified reason and despite delivering medal winning performance in all Paralympic Qualification events," the 27-year-old said.
Kadam had won a bronze medal in men's singles SL4 event at the 2019 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Basel. He was among the five para shuttlers who were included in the TOPS in March 2019. The other shuttlers were Manoj Sarkar and Pramod Bhagat from men's Singles SL3, Tarun and Suhas Yathiraj from men's Singles SL4.
Athletes in the SL3 category generally have an impairment in one or both lower limbs, and poor walking/running balance. To minimise the impact of their impairment, they play only half-court (length-wise). The impairment of athletes in the SL4 category is of a lesser degree compared to SL3. They play full-court since they generally run faster and have better balance than SL3 athletes.