Caribbean athletes earn big at recent World Champs

The recent IAAF World Athletics Championships in oil-rich Doha, Qatar proved to be more than an opportunity for athletes hoping to showcase their talent. In addition to being among the world’s best, those who got among the top eight finalists walked away with a little more than bragging rights and repute; they also received a cash prize payable in US dollars.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

For several Caribbean nationals at the Championships, this proved to be a profitable outing. Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce received US$60,000 (approximately J$8 million) for her superlative performance which saw her nab 100m gold for the fourth time in 10.71 seconds. Also getting a bonus for mining gold in individual performances are Fraser-Pryce’s countryman Tajay Gayle who won the long jump, The Bahamas’ Steven Gardiner (400m), Cuba’s Yaimé Pérez (discus) and Anderson Peters of Grenada (javelin).

“Athletes who set a world record, such as American 400m hurdler Dalilah Muhammad, are eligible for an additional prize of US$100, 000.”

What’s more, Fraser-Pryce will receive a portion of the US$80,000 allocated for the gold-medal winning 4x100m team which was completed by Natalliah Whyte, Jonielle Smith, Natasha Morrison and Shericka Jackson, another dual recipient. Jackson, who had previously snatched bronze in the 400m, also pinched a third medal as anchor on the 4x400m team.

Cash prizes for individual events range from $US60, 000 for first place to US$4,000 for eighth and $US80, 000 to US$4,000 for associated placing on relay teams.

Athletes who set a world record, such as American 400m hurdler Dalilah Muhammad, are eligible for an additional prize of US$100, 000. Muhammad broke her own record, set less than three months ago at the US national championships, when she ran 52.16 seconds to beat countrywoman Sydney McLaughlin and Jamaica rising star Rushell Clayton.

USA’s mixed mile relay team (Photo: AP)

The United States of America also saw its mixed-mile relay team of Wilbert London, Allyson Felix, Courtney Okolo and Michael Cherry receive $US100, 000 for their collective efforts which saw them rewriting the moderately new event’s record to 3:09:34 seconds.

According to the IAAF, performances that are considered for the incentive must improve on existing records, in which case record-equalling ones would not qualify.

Payment of prize money, presented by official bib sponsor and global electronics company TDK and the Qatar National Bank, is dependent on the ratification processes of the IAAF.

Just over US$7.5 million was paid out to finalists over the 10-day championships.