South African Paralympic duo Anrune Weyers and Ntando Mahlangu were deservedly rewarded for their golden success at the Tokyo Games on Saturday.
Last week, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture released the incentives for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic medallists, jointly with their stakeholders National Lottery Commission (NLC) and South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).
The incentives, which were only released after Team SA brought home three medals at the Olympics, were upped considerably to what SA medallists received at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics.
This year, the government promised to award all gold medalists at both the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games R450 000 with R100 000 given to their coach.
Silver medal winners will earn R220 000 (R70 000 for the coach), while those bagging bronze will pocket R100 000 (R30 000 for the coach).
An added R180 000 is rewarded for athletes who break the world record in Tokyo with the incentive strictly for athletes and not for coaches.
READ | Cyril Ramaphosa joins tribute to SA's golden duo at Tokyo Paralympics
Weyers became the first South African to medal on the track and field in Tokyo as she cruised to victory, winning her first Paralympic gold.
The 28-year-old, appearing in her third Paralympic Games, won the women's 400m T45 final in 56.05.
The Capetonian added on to her three silver and one bronze medals from Rio 2016 and London 2012 Games.
Weyers' win in Tokyo means that she will receive R450 000 with her coach Suzanne Ferreira pocketing R120 000.
Weyers still has an opportunity to win more medals for Team SA as she competes in the women's 100m and 200m T47, with the 100m heats set for Tuesday.
Soon after seeing Weyers win, Mahlangu leapt to victory in the long jump T63 final and secured his first Paralympic gold.
Mahlangu, who is competing in his second Paralympics, soared to a personal best in his final jump as he set a new world record with a leap of 7.17m.
His gold medal (R450k), accompanied by his world record (R180k), will see the 19-year-old take home R630 000 for his first Tokyo Paralympic event.
Mahlangu's coach Neil Cornelius is expected to receive R120 000 for his guidance.
This was Mahlangu's second Paralympic medal after the then 14-year-old took silver in the men's 200m T42 at the 2016 Rio Games.
Mahlangu will now turn to the 200m T63 with the heats scheduled on Friday.
Department of Sport, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa hailed the duo, who captured gold for South Africa at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
"We are extremely proud of Team SA and what they have achieved so far at the Paralympics. This is a clear indication that there are no limits when you set your mind to something," said Mthethwa in a press statement.
"We believed they could and they did. Furthermore, we will continue to support them on their ongoing journey."
To date, the Team SA's medallist money tally sits at R1.10m thanks to Mahlangu's world record leap.
The SA Paralympics contingent has so far accumulated two medals, with the Paralympics is set to conclude on 5 September.
News: The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in partnership with the National Lotteries Commission & the South African Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee (SASCOC) is pleased to announce the incentives for outstanding performances of South African Olympians & Paralympians pic.twitter.com/phwOrShFXb— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) August 29, 2021