KAMPALA. Uganda’s five Commonwealth Games medallists have been rewarded with a cash bonus from the National Council of Sports (NCS).
Double gold medallist Joshua Cheptegei took the lion’s share of the Shs100m purse after being handed a Shs50m reward.
For winning gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m finals, he was rewarded Shs20m for each medal. The 21-year-old won the 10,000m race in 27:19.62 minutes to set a new Games record as well as the second-fastest time in the event’s history. This came with a bonus of Shs10m.
Stella Chesang who won the gold medal in the 10,000 metres received Shs20m while silver medallist Solomon Mutai was awarded Shs15m. Mercyline Chelangat and boxer Juma Miiro were awarded with Shs7.5m apiece for their efforts.
It marked a change in government policy after Patrick Ogwel, the NCS Acting General Secretary, who was also the Games Team Manager said medal winners were deserving of financial rewards.
Previously, a presidential handshake was what any medallists hoped for.
Cheptegei, who returned from Australia with two medals, said it was a welcome recognition for the athletes.
“Times change and the government has made a new policy and we are grateful that we are getting something for our efforts,” Cheptegei said.
Uganda was represented by 69 athletes in 11 disciplines including; athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, netball, rugby, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting.
Despite not winning a medal, the netball side - The She Cranes - were the darling of the crowds.