Olympic team eyes cash in­cen­tives

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SAMEER NAIK

SOUTH Africa’s Olympic and Par­a­lympic ath­letes are in line to make some big bucks should they claim glory in Rio de Janeiro next month.

This comes af­ter the South African Sports Con­fed­er­a­tion and Olympic Com­mit­tee (Sas­coc) an­nounced an in­cen­tive pro­gramme de­signed to en­cour­age ath­letes to win medals at the Rio Olympics.

Sas­coc will award all gold medal­ists at both the Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games R500 000. Of that, R400 000 will go to the ath­lete and R100 000 to the coach.

Sil­ver medal win­ners will earn R200 000 (R50 000 for the coach), while those bag­ging bronze will pocket R80 000 (R20 000 for the coach). This prin­ci­ple was es­tab­lished with the un­der­stand­ing the coach plays an im­por­tant role in coach­ing and men­tor­ing the ath­lete.

In the case of a medal won in a team event or by a re­lay team, which counts as one medal, the in­cen­tive amount will re­main the same so the R400 000 for a gold medal would be shared equally among the win­ning team.

The fig­ures pre­sented by Sas­coc are sim­i­lar to the in­cen­tives of­fered to ath­letes at the London Games four years ago.

Sas­coc has also an­nounced the fi­nal list of ath­letes to com­pete at the Rio Olympics, which kicks off on Au­gust 5.

The Olympic body con­firmed this week 137 ath­letes will carry the na­tion’s flag at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Tubby Reddy, Sas­coc’s chief ex­ec­u­tive and chef de mis­sion, said he had ev­ery faith the cho­sen ath­letes would ex­cel in Rio.

“We’re con­fi­dent that the team is the crème de la crème of sport­ing tal­ent with most of them hav­ing rep­re­sented the coun­try in in­ter­na­tional sport­ing events pre­vi­ously,” Reddy told the me­dia.

“We there­fore, wish them well and as the Olympic body we will rally be­hind you all the way. Do the coun­try proud and go well.”

sameer.naik@inl.co.za

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