By Muhyideen Jimoh
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Saturday announced cash rewards for Nigerian athletes who won medals at the ongoing World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
Toyin Ibitoye, Special Assistant (Multimedia) to the minister, disclosed this in a statement saying the cash rewards would see the athletes receiving 5,000 dollars for a gold medal.
”The sum of 3,000 dollars is for a silver medal and 2,000 dollars for a bronze medal.”
He recalled that the minister had pledged to handsomely reward athletes who did well at the championships even before the start of the competition.
NAN reports that, at the end of Day 4 of competition at the five-day-old championships Nigeria had won three gold and two bronze medals.
The medal haul has moved Nigeria to third place on the medals table behind hosts Kenya and Finland.
Nigeria’s 4×400m mixed relay team started the gold rush before Imaobong Uko (women’s 400m) and Udodi Onwuzurike (men’s 200m) won the finals of their events in dominant fashion.
Favour Ofili (women’s 200m) and Chinacherem Nnamdi (men’s javelin) won Team Nigeria’s bronze medals.
There are expectations of more podium finishes for Team Nigeria in the men’s and women’s 4×100m relays and the women’s 4×400m relay on Sunday, the championships’ final day.
NAN reports that medal-winning athletes of Team Nigeria at the just-concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo were also given cash awards.
This is however the first time athletes to the World Athletics Under-20 Championships would be financially rewarded for their performances.(NAN)