Semenya cashes in as ASA hand out 2018 performance bonuses

Cape Town - Some of South Africa's elite athletes have received a boost ahead of the 2019 season, with Athletics SA (ASA) confirming payouts over R300 000 in record incentives from the 2018 campaign.

The national federation revealed this week it would reward athletes for records broken in individual events, with senior athletes receiving R25 000 and junior athletes taking home R10 000 for setting new SA marks in their disciplines last year.

In addition, coaches of record-breaking athletes would receive R5 000 for their efforts.

Middle-distance specialist Caster Semenya is set to receive the largest bonus purse after shattering national women's records in the 400m, 800m and 1 500m events during a superb season.

"Well done to all athletes who set records and broke new ground in a successful 2018 season," said ASA President Aleck Skhosana.

"We are pleased to be able to reward hard-working athletes for their efforts, and we hope these incentives will motivate individuals once again this year."

While relay athletes were not included in the incentive programme for the 2018 season, they could be rewarded for record performances in relay events in 2019, though this is still under discussion by the ASA Board.

"The 2019 incentives will be structured in such a way that athletes and coaches are focused in aiming at achieving not only national records but also at gaining the highest rankings in the world on their event discipline," he said.

"As ASA, we are interested in seeing many of our youth, junior and senior athletes occupying the top 3 spot in the CAA and IAAF individual event rankings."

The full list of 2019 incentives would be released at a later stage, in the build-up to the international campaign.