Athletics-USATF proud of Olympic prize money plan

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the logo of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in Paris, France, March 19, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - USA Track & Field (USATF) praised on Thursday the decision by World Athletics (WA) to give prize money to Olympic gold medallists and end a 128-year tradition.

Athletics became the first sport to offer prize money to Olympic champions when WA President Sebastian Coe announced on Wednesday that gold medallists in Paris this year will earn $50,000 each.

"USATF is proud that our International Federation is the first to introduce prize money for Paris 2024 Olympic Games gold medalists," USATF CEO Max Siegel said in a statement.

"World Athletics' historic decision demonstrates how our sport always looks to innovate and support athletes. We look forward to seeing this initiative expanded for the LA28 Olympic Games."

The statement echoed the positive reaction from the world's leading athletes, with the $2.4 million prize pot to be split among the 48 gold medallists in Paris.

Olympic silver and bronze medal winners in athletics will also receive prize money starting at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York, editing by Ed Osmond)

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