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BAA welcomes new prize money incentive

11 Apr 2024

The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has welcomed its mother body, World Athletics’ decision to reward all athletes who win a gold medal at the coming 2024 Paris Olympic Games with US$50 000
(P684 469.79).

The BAA vice president, Oabona Theetso said preparing for the Olympics was very expensive and it can be mentally draining for the athletes, hence the World Athletics found it important to reward gold medalists in their effort to recognise their hard work.

He said it was every athlete’s dream to compete at the Olympics, adding that the pronouncement would motivate other upcoming athletes as well as instilling the spirit of competition.

“This pronouncement will motivate the athletes and coaches to do better given that a lot will be at stake,” he said.

However, Theetso said he was confident that as time goes on, World Athletics would recognise area champions such as Africa Championships.

World Athletics is the first federation to grease the athlete’s palms at the Olympics, and in a press release they states that a total prize pot of US$2.4 million (over P38 million)  has been ring fenced from the International Olympic Committee’s revenue share allocation, which is received by World Athletics every four years.

It says this will be used to reward athletes who win a gold medal in each of the 48 athletics events in Paris.

According to the release, the payment of prize money will depend upon the World Athletics’ ratification process, including athletes undergoing and clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.

It says also relay teams will receive the same amount, to be shared among the team.

The format and structure of the LA Olympic Games bonuses will be announced nearer the time.

The release says the initiative by World Athletics also includes a firm commitment to extend the prize money at a tiered level, to Olympic silver and bronze medal winners at the Los Angeles (LA) 2028 Olympic Games.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said the introduction of prize money for Olympic gold medalists was a pivotal moment for World Athletics and the sport of athletics as a whole, underscoring the commitment to empowering the athletes and recognising the critical role they played in the success of any Olympic Games.

Coe said they started with the Olympic dividend payments to their Member Federations, which saw the distribution of an extra US$5 million a year on top of existing grants aimed at athletics growth projects, and they were now in a position to also fund gold medal performances for athletes in Paris, with a commitment to reward all three medalists at the LA 28 Olympic Games. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Anastacia Sibanda

Location : GABORONE

Event : Interview

Date : 11 Apr 2024