SEA Games champs get $1m in awards

SEA Games champs get $1m in awards
Swimmers (from left) Tao Li, Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen clowning around at an instant photo booth at the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme presentation ceremony last night. Schooling and Quah were joint top earners, receiving cash awards of $31,250 each for their achievements at the SEA Games. Tao Li was the top female earner and was rewarded with $23,750.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore's top athletes were honoured for their record-breaking SEA Games achievements, as a total of $1 million was given out under the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP) at an award presentation ceremony at Orchard Hotel last night.

It was the largest sum ever handed out to the gold medallists in a single edition of the biennial Games, with many of the 183 champion athletes receiving multiple cash awards. Swimmer Joseph Schooling was joint top earner together with teammate Quah Zheng Wen, each pocketing $31,250 for their feats.

This is the third straight time that Schooling has emerged as the top earner at this award ceremony, having also posted stellar performances at the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games and last year's Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

However, as he is based in the United States, this is the first time the University of Texas undergraduate has been able to collect his cash prizes in person. The 20-year-old, who won all of the nine events he entered at the SEA Games, is in town for the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships as the local ambassador of the world swim meet.

Despite jetlag and a jam-packed schedule, the newly minted world championships bronze medallist cut a relaxed figure yesterday.

This article was first published on August 27, 2015.
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