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South-East Asian nations announce mega cash awards for Tokyo Olympics medalists

The Philippines' weightlifter, Hidilyn Diaz wins her country's first-ever Olympics gold medal by creating a Games record in the 55kg weightlifting event (Photo: IANS)

Medalists from South-East Asian nations are receiving big prize money for winning at the Tokyo Olympics besides accolades and other perks. With the Olympics being dominated by a handful of powerful nations, South-East Asian nations are going all out to support their sports persons with handsome awards.

The Philippines
Philippine weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, the first-ever sportsperson to win an Olympic gold medal for her country, will receive gifts, cash and homes besides the official prize money. She won a gold in the women's 55-kg weightlifting event and set an Olympic record by lifting a total of 224 kg.

Though the official cash award amounts to 10 million pesos ($200,000), Diaz is likely to get more than 33 million pesos with various Filipino businessmen chipping in. Nikkei Asia reports: "There are other prizes coming, including homes and cars. On Tuesday, a property developer affiliated with Alliance Global Group, led by real estate tycoon Andrew Tan, offered Diaz a condominium, valued at 14 million pesos, in Metropolitan Manila. Chinese automaker Beiqi Foton Motor said it will provide her with a 13-seat van for family trips".

More importantly, the Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte has reset his relations with Diaz. In 2019, Duterte had labelled her as a threat to his government but has now announced to pay her 3 million pesos from his personal money, provide a furnished house and a plot of land.

The Manila Times reports that Diaz will also receive a lifetime supply of fuel. 

In neighbouring Thailand, it has been a similar story for the nation's medal-winners.

Panipak Wongpattanakit, who became Thailand's first Olympic gold medalist in taekwondo, has been named as the country's sports and tourism ambassador. The government also plans to award her with 20 million baht ($604,000).

South-East Asia's largest nation–Indonesia had announced mega cash prizes for its Olympians. Five billion rupiah ($346,000) for a gold medal, two billion rupiah for a silver and one billion rupiah for winning the bronze at the Tokyo Olympics has been considered to be extravagant.

Indonesia's three weightlifters who won silver and bronze medals are all set to receive large cash prizes from the government.

The tiny city-State of Singapore pays even more than its neighbours. Olympics gold medalists get $1 million Singapore ($740,028), which has been claimed by just one sports person till date.