IOA announces awards for medal winners, coaches

Rio de Janeiro : The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has announced a prize of Rs 50 lakh for every gold medal winner, Rs 30 lakh for silver and Rs 20 lakh for bronze among the Indian participants at the 31st Olympic Games commencing on Friday evening. This is the first time that IOA has announced such a prize in any Olympic Games. The coach of the winner would be given half the prize. A medallist's coach would thus stand to gain Rs 25 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, respectively. This is apart from whatever honour or purse the central or state government bestows upon an Indian medal winner. The decision was taken at a meeting of the top IOA top brass with managers and coaches of the Indian teams participating at the Rio Olympics, according to an IOA press release. Present at the meeting were IOA President N Ramachandran, IOA Secretary Rajeev Mehta, Chef de Mission Rakesh Gupta and Deputy Chef de Mission Anandeshwar Pandey. After the meeting, Ramachandran said he hoped "this will form an additional incentive for the athletes and we are looking at a higher than ever medal haul". Gupta, said the athletes "must keep in mind that they are ambassadors of the country and all eyes will be on them. We want the very best from them and no effort has been spared in helping them". Around 70 athletes and 24 officials are expected to attend the march-past to be held during the opening ceremony scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on Friday evening Rio time (4.30 a.m. on Saturday India time). Disciplines, which have competition or training the following day, have been given the option of skipping the opening ceremony, according to the release.