Olympics incentive

By Simon Griver, July 28, 2011

The Olympic Committee of Israel (OCI) has doubled the prize money for medal winners at next year's London Olympics.

OCI chairman Zvi Varshaviak announced that any Israeli gold medallists will be awarded NIS 1 million, compared with NIS 480,000 for the Beijing Games in 2006. Athletes will receive NIS 400,000 for silver and NIS 250,000 for bronze.

There are also more generous awards for coaches and sports associations that nurture the medal winners.

Varshaviak said the financial incentives were a response to the disappointment of winning just one medal in Beijing – Shahar Zubari's bronze in windsurfing.

"We have a strong enough squad to win three medals in London,' said Varshaviak.

Among leading contenders are 470- sailors Eran Sela and Gidi Klinger, artistic gymnast Alex Shatilov, taekwondo fighter Bat-El Gatterer, Arik Ze'evi and Alice Shlesinger in judo, tennis player Shahar Peer and Zubari.

Zeevi, who won bronze at the Athens Olympics in 2004, said: "These prizes are for amazing amounts. Let's hope some of the squad gets to enjoy the money."

Last updated: 3:56pm, July 28 2011