Sascoc negotiating with partners to pay Olympic bonuses for medallists

Sascoc on Monday confirmed that Tatjana Schoenmaker and Bianca Buitendag, South Africa’s only two medallists at the Games, would not be getting bonuses.

 South Africa’s 100 metre breaststroke gold medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker set new record in the 100m breaststroke heat on Sunday, 25 July 2021 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. Picture: Twitter/@TeamSA2020

JOHANNESBURG - Questions are being asked about why the country’s two Olympic medallists are not being paid bonuses after their return from the Tokyo Olympics.

Sascoc on Monday confirmed that Tatjana Schoenmaker and Bianca Buitendag, South Africa’s only two medallists at the Games, would not be getting bonuses.

The sports body has argued that it simply did not have the money to pay, saying that with the Paralympics next, along with other tournaments, this would be impossible.

"As we speak, we are trying to negotiate with partners to try and assist us in this regard," Sascoc president, Barry Hendricks, said after he confirmed that athletes at the Olympics and Paralympics would not receive medal bonuses.

This is a far cry from the situation in Rio five years ago when athletes were given up to half a million rand depending on where they placed on the podium.

Head of male swimmers at the Olympics for Team South Africa, Wayne Riddin, said that in many countries, government was responsible for the incentives given to athletes.

However, he said that the responsibility for providing incentives did not only lie with the athletics body.

"When countries get their gold medals, the government does the incentive as opposed to the Olympic committee. Goverment provides the actual amount of money that they decide on," Riddin said.

The Olympics wrapped up on Sunday, with South Africa finishing 52nd on the medals table.

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