The Ministry of Youth and Sports on Thursday awarded cash prizes to athletes who won Gold, Silver and Bronze at the Rio Olympic Games at a ceremony held at the National Palace.
In recognition of their performance, the ministry has cash prizes to the victorious Olympians. Almaz Ayana, who broke the world 10,000 meters record at the 2016 Rio Olympics topping the previous world record holder, a Chinese athlete Wang Junxia by 14 seconds, took home a cash prize of ETB 1.4 million and a late model automobile. The 23 –year-old Ayana was also awarded Medal of Merit by the president of Republic, Mulatu Teshome (PhD).
Ethiopians silver medalists, Genzebe Dibaba, Lelissa Feyissa, were awarded ETB 500,000 each; while bronze medalist like Tirunesh Dibaba, Tamirat Tola, Mare Dibaba and Hagos Gebrehiwot, were each presented with a cash prize of ETB 200,000. Apart from that, all diploma and participating athletes were awarded ETB 50,000 and 26,000 respectively. The ministry also honored Ethiopian Para Olympians such as Tamiru Demise who brought silver medal in the Visually Impaired 1500 meters race.
Elsewhere, the ministry also recognized the national team coaches with case prizes ranging from 100,000 to 20,000 according to their medal achievements in Rio Olympic. Meanwhile, team leaders, heads of technical departments and journalists were also included in prize ceremony.
A total of 6 million ETB prize was given for the Ethiopian Rio team including the Para Olympic team.
At the ceremony, the Ethiopian 10,000 meters star, Almaz Ayana, did not hide her disappointment because of the exclusion of her personal coach, Soresa Fida, who wasn’t invited to the awards program at the national palace. Almaz said: “the result is not only mine but also my coach’s. So, it’s necessary to accord recognition to him too”.
In the program the minster of Youth and Spots, Redwan Hussien, stated that the government will pay attention to the failures of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and promised to fill gaps observed and be better prepared for the coming 2020 Tokyo Olympic.
All recognized athletes, coaches, team leaders and Ethiopian athletics Federation officials have received cash prizes from president MulatuTeshome (PhD).
The Ethiopian team that travelled to Rio collected 8 medals altogether. Almaz Ayana (gold and bronze in 10,000 and 5,000m); Tirunesh Dibaba (bronze 10,000m); Tamirat Tola (bronze 10,000m); Genzebe Dibaba (silver 1,500m); Mare Dibaba (bronze marathon); Hagos Geberehiwot (bronze 5000m) and FeyissaLilesa (silver marathon) were some of athletes who received the cash prizes.
In Para Olympic team also collected one silver medal in the visually impaired 1500 race via Tamiru Demissie.