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Cash awards worth over NT$30 million given to Olympians: council

2012/08/16 18:32:47

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) Cash rewards distributed to Taiwan's medal winners and other athletes who performed well at the recently concluded 2012 Olympic Games are over NT$30 million (US$1 million), the Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council said Thursday.

Cash awards with a total of NT$32.7 million will be paid to 16 athletes, including Hsu Shu-ching, the silver medalist in the women's 53 kilogram weightlifting event, and Tseng Li-cheng, the bronze medal winner in the women's under 57kg taekwondo category, the council said.

According to the Regulations Governing the Issuance of Guo Guang Athletic Medals and Scholarships, Hsu is eligible to receive a one-time reward of NT$7 million or a lifetime monthly pension of NT$38,000 for snatching a silver medal for the country.

Tseng is eligible to receive NT$5 million or a lifetime monthly pension of NT$24,000, the council said.

In addition, table tennis player Chuang Chih-yuan, who finished fourth in the men's singles event -- the best-ever finish by a male Taiwanese table tennis player at the Games, will be given NT$3 million.

Athletes who finished fifth or sixth will receive NT$1.5 million, while those who came in seventh or eighth will get NT$0.9 million.

No one in the Chinese Taipei Olympic team to the London Games won a gold medal, which would fetch NT$12 million in cash award.

The council noted that athletes who made it to the quarterfinal stage of sports like tennis and badminton, which do not officially place players in that round, will be given cash rewards equal to a fifth place finish.

Meanwhile, Premier Sean Chen congratulated all of Taiwan's athletes for the efforts they made for the national team at the sporting event.

Despite the improved ranking at the Olympics, the result was still lower than the public's expectations, Chen said, adding that Taiwan ranked 63rd at the London Olympics with one sliver and one bronze, while the nation ranked 80th at Beijing Olympics with four bronze medals.

Chen said he had instructed the council to review how athletes are cultivated and trained, as well as do more to enhance athletes' abilities and unlock their potential.

(By Lee Yu-cheng, Hsieh Chia-chen and Hanna Liu)