Southeast Asian Games gold medals are worth more in Indonesia than any other competing country, with the world’s most populous Muslim nation handing out cash prizes of US$9,000 for athletes who top the winner’s podium.
According to the Sports Association of Indonesia, the archipelago has set a target of winning 62 gold medals at the bi-annual meet, which runs from December 9-18 in the capital of Vientiane.
Southeast Asia’s richest country, Singapore, followed suit with a stated bonus of S$10,000 (US$7,000) for each gold medal brought home to the city-state.
Another cherry on the top of sporting glory is an extra bonus of US$3,500 for game’s record breakers.
Ten-time overall champions Thailand, is offering US$6,000 per gold, with silver and a bronze medals fetching US$3,000 and US$1,500 respectively.
Cambodian winners have been promised US$6,000 per victory, but in a show of faith to the people that got them there, coaches of winning athletes will be paid the same amount.
Silver medalists from the Kingdom will take home US$3,800, while 3rd place getters will be paid US$1,900.
The Philippines went with community spirit by promising each medal winner US$4,700.
Hosts Laos, which has set a target of capturing 25 gold medals, will pay US$3,600 for a gold medal, US$2,400 for a silver medal and US$1,200 for a bronze.
Vietnam, which has trumpeted its growing economic prowess in the region has proven the most stingy by doling out US$1,500 for each gold medal; a figure that in on par with Myanmar, one of the world’s poorest countries.
2009 SEA Games medal tally on Monday:
No. Country Gold Silver Bronze 1 Thailand 31 39 43 2 Vietnam 26 26 31 3 Singapore 25 13 24 4 Malaysia 21 23 28 5 Indonesia 17 19 29 6 Philippines 12 17 19 7 Laos 12 5 23 8 Myanmar 6 8 21 9 Cambodia 2 4 10 10 Brunei 1 1 5 11 Timor Leste 0 0 3