Nigerian Olympics Gold medallists, Chioma Ajunwa and Enefiok Udo-Obong have expressed their excitement over World Athletics’ recent announcement regarding prize money for gold medallists at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics.

Both retired sprinters believe this move signifies a positive step by the global athletics governing body and will contribute to enhancing competition in athletics events.

The prize money, totaling $2.4 million, will be distributed among gold medallists, who will each receive $50,000. Relay gold medallists will share their prize money amongst themselves.

World Athletics has also confirmed that this initiative will extend to silver and bronze medallists at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Speaking on the development, Nigeria’s first ever Olympic gold medalist, Ajunwa, said, ”It’s a great step for them to announce that there will be rewards for gold medallists but I would have loved them to give a token to other athletes who make the podium.

“This will make the athletics events in Paris more competitive.”

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Also speaking, Udo-Obong, said, “It’s a good move actually because it is the first time this is happenning and it should be encouraged, but I also hope that other international federations emulate the World Athletics by encouraging their athletes at the Olympics.

“Gone are the days that people say the Olympics is about amatureism because professionals now take part in it. The TV money is also there, so it’s only right athletes gets some incentives.”

World Athletics President, Lord Coe also called the decision a “pivotal moment.”

“The introduction of prize money for Olympic gold medallists is a pivotal moment for World Athletics and the sport of athletics as a whole, underscoring our commitment to empowering the athletes and recognising the critical role they play in the success of any Olympic Games,” Coe remarked.

“While it is impossible to put a marketable value on winning an Olympic medal, or on the commitment and focus it takes to even represent your country at an Olympic Games, I think it is important we start somewhere and make sure some of the revenues generated by our athletes at the Olympic Games are directly returned to those who make the Games the global spectacle that it is,” he emphasised.