By Dil Kumar Ale Magar
Nationals Sports Council Member Secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal has clarified that the athletes who won two or more than two gold medals in the recently concluded 13th South Asian Games will receive Rs 1.1 million lakh for each gold medal.
The government on Wednesday announced that the individual gold medalist will receive Rs 9 lakh cash prize while those who won more than one gold medals will get Rs 1.1 million.
Likewise, the silver medalists will get Rs 6,00,000 each and the bronze medalists will bag Rs 3,00,000 each.
However, as the government did not reveal details on how much money the gold medalists will be rewarded personally, it created a debate on whether swimmer Gaurika Singh–who became the only athlete to win four golds in Nepal’s SAG history, along with two silvers and three bronzes–will get around Rs 60 million or only Rs 1.1 million.
Even the government authorities’ statements contradicted each other.
“Rs 1.1 million will be rewarded to each gold medals,” Silwal told reporters during a face-to-face interaction program organized by the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Thursday.
“Gaurika Singh will get around Rs 5.9 million,” he clarified.
Taekwondo player Ayesha Shakya, karateka Kaji Shrestha and golfer Subhash Tamang will receive Rs 2.2 million each for their double golds in their respective sports disciplines.
But, there were still dissatisfactions among the men’s football team members as they would be receiving only Rs 500,000 each for retaining the SAG gold–which is fewer than the silver medalists.
According to the announcement, the gold medalists in the team events will receive only Rs 500,000.
Silwal said the football team’s gold is counted as one, therefore, “they will be rewarded five hundred thousand each.”
“The football team is getting more than 10 million rupees,” he added.
“Moreover, the government will announce special packages for them in the near future.”
When enquired if the cash amount the gold medalists are getting is comparatively smaller than other countries, he said: “I agree it is smaller in amount. But the provincial governments and the municipalities are announced additional prizes.”
“The SAG medalists will get more prizes.”