Major cash awards aim to inspire Hong Kong medal-winning success
Athletes who win medals at the Asian Games in Guangzhou will walk away with pockets full after the Hang Seng Bank joined the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) in an incentive scheme announced yesterday - the 150-day countdown to the Games in November.
Individual gold medal winners will receive HK$400,000 (up from HK$250,000 at the last Asian Games in Doha), while silver medallists will get HK$200,000 (HK$125,000) and bronze medallists HK$100,000 (HK$50,000).
The award for team events will also be increased, with a gold medal worth HK$800,000, silver HK$400,000 and a bronze HK$200,000.
Cycling ace Wong Kam-po, a gold medallist at the 1998 and 2006 Asian Games, said athletes deserved rewards for sacrificing the time and the hard work needed to be successful.
'The Asian Games is contested by the best athletes in the region, many of whom are world class,' Wong said. 'I would like to thank the Sports Institute and Hang Seng for its generous support, which will certainly strengthen the efforts and focus of all athletes in their preparations for Guangzhou,' he said.
Hong Kong is expected to take part in more than 30 sports at the November 12 to 27 Games.
This is the first time the bank has supported an incentive scheme for the Asian Games. Hang Seng, which began supporting the HKSI's incentive scheme in 1996, was previously involved with the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, the National Games and also last December's East Asian Games.
HKSI chairman Eric Li Ka-cheung said: 'The government and the HKSI are determined to achieve breakthrough sporting results at the Asian Games. We have set high targets, and Hang Seng's support is essential in providing additional motivation to local athletes to achieve these goals.'
Incentives will also be given to athletes in the Asian Para Games on December 12 to 19. Individual gold medallists will get HK$40,000 (up from HK$15,000), silver medallists HK$20,000 and bronze medallists HK$10,000.
The award for team events will be HK$80,000 (gold), HK$40,000 (silver) and HK$20,000 (bronze).
The victors' reward
Individual gold medal winners at the Asian Games in Guangzhou will receive, in Hong Kong dollars: $400,000