The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has announced cash awards for Team Nigeria athletes who win medals at the ongoing World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya where 200 countries are competing. Nigeria is 3rd on the medals table so far.
Dare had charged and promised the athletes before the Championships began that those who do the nation proud will be handsomely rewarded, a statement that has now seen the light of day.
The cash awards announced will see the athletes receive $5000 for Gold, $3000 for Silver and $2000 for Bronze medals.
Already by the close of Day 4, Nigeria had recorded her best ever outing in history at the Championships with 3 Gold and 2 Bronze medals.
This medal haul has moved Nigeria to third place on the medals table behind the hosts Kenya and surprise package Finland.
Nigeria’s Mixed 4×400m relay team started the gold rush before Imaobong Nse Uko(400m women) and Udodi Onwuzurike (200m men)won the finals of their events in dominant fashion.
Favour Ofili (200m women) and Chinacherem Nnamdi (Javelin) won Team Nigeria’s Bronze medals.
There are expectations of more podium finishes for Team Nigeria in the 4×100m (men and women) and 4×400m (women) relays on Sunday, the final day of the Championships.
Medal-winning athletes of Team Nigeria at the just concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan were also given cash awards, with the Federal Government tripling the amount the athletes got in previous Olympics.
This is however the first time that athletes to the World Athletics U20 Championships would ever be financially rewarded for their performances.