A HK$10 million incentive is on offer for a team gold medal at this year’s Tokyo Olympic, more than double the cash carrot at the Games in Rio four years ago. In individual events, a gold medal winner will bank HK$5 million, a big increase from the HK$3 million incentive at the 2016 Olympics. A team gold in Rio was worth HK$4.2 million, but Hong Kong returned empty-handed. There is no shortage of individual medal hopefuls for Tokyo this summer. Track cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze, fencer Vivian Kong Man-wai, swimmer Siobhan Haughey and karate exponent Grace Lau Mo-sheung are all capable of challenging for the podium. In team events, table tennis mixed doubles pair Wong Chun-ting and Doo Hoi-kem, who have already booked their places to Tokyo, are also favoured. Incentives for a silver medal will be half the amount for gold – HK$5 million for team and HK$2.5 million for individual – while bronze medallists will get half of the incentive for silver. Hong Kong Olympic Committee deputy secretary general Wong Po-kee said the incentives for the Tokyo Games (July 24-August 9) would be the highest ever, thanks to a major commercial sponsor. Hong Kong athletes dive into 2020 with hopes for New Year “Details of the scheme will be announced later but it will be the biggest ever,” the official said. “We have a number of athletes that will be able to challenge for medals in Tokyo this summer and we hope the scheme can recognise their hard work and commitment in real terms.” It is believed one of the sponsors of the incentive scheme for the 2018 Asian Games, a prominent property developer in Hong Kong, will solely carry the financial backing for the awards this time. The Hong Kong Jockey Club, which has been sponsoring the awards since 2016, will not be involved. Star cyclist Lee, a 2012 London Games bronze medallist, will be hoping for medals in both the sprint and keirin in Tokyo. Lee, who will turn 33 this summer, has not lost a race in the sprint since the 2020 Olympic cycle began two years ago. She also won the keirin title at the 2019 world championships in Poland. Hong Kong’s Sarah Lee Wai-sze clinches double at cycling worlds Épée fencer Kong has occupied the world number one spot for almost a year and is a strong medal contender, while swimmer Haughey’s stunning performance for a fourth place in the women’s 200-metre freestyle at the 2019 world championships makes her another medal hopeful. Karate exponent Lau, who has been in the world’s top five of the women’s kata for the past two years, is another serious medal contender, especially as there will be two bronze medals on offer in her event. Hong Kong sent a delegation of 38 athletes to the Rio Games four years ago and although they returned with no medal, the scheme offered more than HK$4 million to honour those who finished with a top-16 position.