Chinese consider medal bonus rise

China is considering raising its cash bonus for medal winners at the Olympic Games in Athens next month, the state Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. Olympic officials have drawn up plans for an increase but need the final approval of the Cabinet, Xinhua said citing Li Furong, deputy chef-de-mission of the Chinese Olympic delegation. At the last Olympics in Sydney in 2000, Chinese athletes earned 150,000 yuan (about $18,000) for a gold medal, 100,000 yuan for a silver and 50,000 yuan for a bronze. Li said, however, that athletes should not expect too much of a bonus as China was still a developing nation. The per capita income of China’s urban residents now stands at around $1,000 a year. China, which won 28 golds and ranked third in the medal tally in Sydney, is sending 407 athletes to compete in 203 events in 28 sports in Athens. Li said last week China should win more than 20 golds but it would be «very difficult» to repeat its Sydney success. (AFP)