Gold-winning SEA Games athletes receive cash prizes at MAP award ceremony

Singapore's gold medallists from the SEA Games, including archer Chan Jing Ru (above), were celebrated at the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP) award presentation ceremony held at Swissotel Merchant Court on Friday afternoon. -- ST FILE
Singapore's gold medallists from the SEA Games, including archer Chan Jing Ru (above), were celebrated at the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP) award presentation ceremony held at Swissotel Merchant Court on Friday afternoon. -- ST FILE PHOTO:  HO KAH JOON DOUGLAS

The achievements of Singapore's athletes at last December's SEA Games in Myanmar were celebrated at the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP) award presentation ceremony held at Swissotel Merchant Court on Friday afternoon.

Gold medallists from the biennial event in Naypyidaw and Yangon - Team Singapore athletes took home 34 golds, together with 29 silvers and 45 bronzes - were also given cash prizes totalling $400,000 for their feats.

Swimming, table tennis and sailing were the Republic's best-performing sports, with swimmer Joseph Schooling banking in the most with his five-gold haul, taking home $27,500.

The swimmers were rewarded $115,000 for their 11-gold performance, while sailing received $60,000 (five golds) and table tennis was given $50,000 (four golds).

Said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also president of the Singapore National Olympic Council and guest of honour at the event: "You not only gave us many moments to cheer and celebrate during the Games, but also made us cherish the journey you took to make our nation proud."

Several athletes, such as judoka Ho Han Boon, equestrian rider Janine Khoo and archer Chan Jing Ru, were also first-time receivers of the awards. They received $10,000 each for winning a gold each.

Said canoeist Stephenie Chen, who was among the top five athletes rewarded by receiving $15,000 (two team-event golds): "It has been quite a journey so far and it would not be possible without the support form my teammates, coach and family, who have been there every step of the way."

The MAP programme is an incentive scheme that provides cash payouts to medal-winning athletes at the four major multi-sport events: Olympic Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and SEA Games. It is sponsored by the Tote Board and Singapore Pools.

All athletes have to plough back 20 per cent of their cash prizes to their respective national sports associations for future training and development purposes.