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Kenyan Gold medallists to bag Sh1m

NAIROBI, August 9 – There’s more good news for Kenya’s Olympics team after several corporate companies came together Friday to supplement the government’s effort to reward the best placed athletes after the games.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports Kinuthia Murugu said Friday that with the financial boost the government would increase the cash prizes for Kenya’s Olympic team in Beijing.

The added support means that any Kenyan who wins a gold medal is now assured of Sh1.75 million, anyone with a silver medal will get Sh1.15 million, while those who clinch the medal for third place will receive Sh580,000.

Murugu announced: “Several companies have come out including Nakumatt, Safaricom and America East Africa Corporation to supplement the government’s efforts so that the athletes get some substantial prizes."

Raymond Chisholm, the Managing Director of the America East Africa Corporation confirmed that his organisation had committed more than Sh2 million for the winners.

"I talked to my partner at the company to double the payment to Sh2.4 million for five gold medal winners, five silver medal winners and five bronze medal winners,” said the MD.

The cash promise, Murugu added, would boost President Mwai Kibaki’s announcement last month of an increment in monetary decoration for top athletes.

The President had said that each Kenyan athlete will receive a cash prize of Sh750,000 for winning a gold medal, Sh500,000 for silver and Sh250,000 for a bronze medal.

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The Head of State said that the reward was intended to encourage the sportsmen and women to continue doing well.

“The government wants to recognize and give rewards to medal winners, for the hard work of the sportsmen and women,” Murugu enthused.

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