Tokyo Olympics

SA's Olympic and Paralympic medallists will receive incentives, Sascoc insists

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South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker wins gold medal at Tokyo Olympics
South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker wins gold medal at Tokyo Olympics
Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) insisted on Tuesday that athletes who win medals at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will receive financial incentives.

Sascoc was responding to a City Press report which stated on Sunday that there would be no monetary reward for the country's medallists at the Games.

Sascoc president Barry Hendriks said in a statement that reports the governing body would not be rewarding Tatjana Schoenmaker and Bianca Buitendag were off the mark.

Swimmer Schoemaker (gold and silver) and surfer Buitendag (silver) won South Africa's only three medals at the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics.

"We have been consistent in saying that we are in negotiations with partners over the issue of financial rewards to medallists at both the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics," Hendriks said.

"It is true that the amounts have not been finalised given that the negotiations are ongoing. However, there has never been a point whereby a decision has been made to not offer medallists incentives.

"We did not want the issue of financial incentives to distract from the performances of the athletes at both Games. We are now between the Olympics and the Paralympics, and we believe that we should be consistent in our treatment of athletes. So, we didn't want to say, 'yes, we are offering incentives for the athletes and the incentives are x, y and z'.

"All along we wanted the athletes to concentrate on their performances without distraction. Both the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are being held in unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will be rewarding medallists and the amount for each medallist will be announced in due course once we have finalised negotiations with our partners," Hendriks added.

The Tokyo Paralympics is scheduled for 24 August-5 September.

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