Aditi Ashok opens up on challenges she faced at Tokyo Olympics: TOPS scheme doesn’t suit golfers

Aditi Ashok opens up on challenges she faced at Tokyo Olympics TOPS scheme doesn't suit golfers
Aditi Ashok narrowly missed out on a golf medal at Tokyo 2020 (AFP Photo)

Aditi Ashok opened up on the difficulties she faced while competing at Tokyo 2020 and also highlighted the shortcomings of the Indian government’s TOPS scheme for the Olympic-bound athletes.


  • Aditi Ashok surprised everyone by finishing 4th in the women’s golf final at Tokyo 2020
  • TOPS doesn’t really suit golfers: Aditi Ashok told India Today
  • I’m already a better player this Tokyo Olympics than I was at Rio in 2016: Aditi Ashok

Golfer Aditi Ashok has become a household name in India after her stunning performance at the Tokyo Olympics where she missed out on a medal by one place after finishing fourth. But not many would know of the challenges that the 23-year-old had to face before even she started to compete at the Games.

Aditi Ashok revealed on India Today that she had to travel nearly 75km every day just to reach the golf course in Tokyo from the Games Village. Aditi opened up on the difficult circumstances in which she had to perform while fighting against all odds in Japan.


“I was in Tokyo and on the final day they moved the tee times up because there was going to be a storm in the afternoon. My start time was 8:18 AM and I need an hour-and-a-half to warm up and another half-hour before to eat breakfast. And I was staying at the Village which was 75kms from the golf course which takes an hour-and-a-half to get there. So I was expected to wake up at 3AM and go play golf with the world No. 1. And they say, ‘oh you fell short’.

“Yes I know, I did my best. And I’m not saying that I would have won a medal if I wasn’t staying that far from the course. But it would have certainly helped to get 6 more hours of sleep.

“A lot of my competitors were staying at the IOC-approved hotels which were within 2-30 minutes from the golf course. There were a couple of golfers staying at the Village, the medallist weren’t at the Village. I was, I guess, the best golfer staying at the Village but I had a hour-and-a-half drive every morning and evening,” Aditi told India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai.

Aditi Ashok, who had finished 41st at the 2016 Rio Games, also opened up on the Indian government’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) which she couldn’t utilise properly for her second Olympics campaign.

In the TOPS scheme, Olympic-bound athletes are provided financial assistance for training at institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support for their growth and future success. But Aditi only qualified for the Games just 60 days before it started in Tokyo which is why she couldn’t avail the benefits of the scheme.

“I know a lot of federations have done a lot and sports in India has come a long way but I do want to add, that it is still despite the system for me. The TOPS scheme only comes into effect when you qualify for the Olympics and I qualified 60 days before the Games.

“They say they are going to help you with funds but what am I going to do in 60 days before the Olympics, I’m probably going to take a couple of weeks and rest so I can’t even spend the money that is eligible for me. TOPS doesn’t really suit golfers,” Aditi said.

The Bengaluru golfer will now switch her focus towards the 2024 Olympics but hopes not to face similar problems in Paris.

“I am going to work hard for 2024. I’m already a better player this Tokyo Olympics than I was at Rio so I’m sure I going to be a better player when I am going to Paris. I just hope the Village is not an hour-and-a-half away,” Aditi said.