LONDON Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi, whose Southeast Asian Games gold medal turned intoa bronze in Myanmar after a race replay, got some sort of a consolation as she is set to receive from the government the cash incentive equivalent to a champion’s.
Nevertheless, the government will give Alkhaldi P100,000 as incentive instead of a P10,000 prize like the other bronze medalists.
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia said the decision was a “no-brainer” since Alkhaldi was “robbed” of the gold medal.
“We acknowledge that she won a gold medal, she was awarded the gold medal, the national anthem was raised. So she deserved to get an incentive of a gold medal,” said Garcia after the awarding of cash incentives to SEA Games gold medalist on Friday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Based on Republic Act 9064 or the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001, SEA Games champions get P100,000, the silver medalists P50,000, and bronze winners P10,000.
While the P10,000 is from the National Sports Development Fund remitted by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), Garcia said the PSC will cover for the remaining P90,000 for Alkhaldi from its own funds.
The Thai swimming team filed a protest after Alkhaldi’s win, saying their swimmer heard a horn that signaled a false start. SEA Games officials ordered the re-swim.
“It’s a no-brainer. Binigyan na ng gintong medalya, bakit hindi natin bibigyan ng incentive?” Garcia said.
Alkhaldi was not present during Friday’s awarding rites.
The Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) had tendered a protest of the incident to the International Swimming Federation (Fina).