Billion-Rp Bonus for Beijing Medallists

JAKARTA ~ Indonesia is to award a cash bonus of Rp1 billion (US$106,000) to its 2008 Olympic gold medallists, the Indonesian National Sport Committee (KONI) chairwoman said.

A bonus of that amount has been “a tradition since 1996 as a form of an appreciation for their hard efforts,” Rita Subowo said, adding that silver and bronze medallists would be awarded respectively Rp500 million and Rp250 million.

Subowo said that KONI was working on the assumption that Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous nation, would only win a maximum of two gold medals in the competition, so a budget of Rp0 billion would be sought.

Indonesia won two gold medals – in the women’s and men’s badminton singles – at the 1992 games in Barcelona.

“We have never won more than two gold medals since,” Subowo said.

The committee was looking for sponsors to award the money, she added.

Subowo estimated that 40 to 60 Indonesians would compete at the 2008 games in the Chinese capital Beijing in athletics, archery, badminton, weightlifting and swimming.

Indonesia’s athletes have complained in the past that the lack of support they receive from their government leads to their lackluster international performances.

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