'This is shameful': Aussie athletes dudded in Paralympics 'disgrace'

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Evan O'Hanlon and Paige Greco, pictured here after winning medals at the Paralympics.
The likes of Evan O'Hanlon and Paige Greco won't received cash prizes for winning medals at the Paralympics. Image: Getty

Australians were left furious on Saturday when it emerged the country's Paralympians won't be paid like their Olympic counterparts for winning medals in Tokyo.

Australia's Olympic athletes were given cash prizes for winning medals, with gold worth $20,000, silver $15,000 and bronze $10,000.

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But according to a report by SBS, Australia's Paralympic medallists will receive nothing.

A spokesperson told the publication: "Paralympic Australia simply doesn’t have the funds for medal bonuses – and they never have."

Aussie sprinter Scott Reardon said the reality is Para-athletes are treated differently.

"In a perfect world, we would have equality across the board - in men's sport, women's sport, para-sport," he told SBS.

America and a number of other countries moved to award their Paralympic athletes with the same cash prizes as Olympians at this year's Games, a move that has been widely celebrated.

But Canada is another country where Paralympians get nothing, while New Zealand doesn't award cash prizes to Olympians or Paralympians.

Host nation Japan awards Paralympic gold medallists $38,000, some $25,000 less than their Olympic compatriots.

Serena Ovens, CEO of the Physical Disability Council of NSW, told SBS she believes in Australia "we absolutely still see disability as something less".

"We prize our Olympians but still don't think our Paralympians have attained the same sort of elite level," she said.

"Paralympians work as hard, if not harder, to get to where they're at to compete for their country."

Aussies flocked to social media to condemn the fact our Paralympians don't get paid, calling for change.

Aussies add more medals on Day 4 at Paralympics

Jaryd Clifford's emotional silver in the men's 5000m was Saturday's Paralympic highlight, but Australia's swimmers took centre stage with another haul of medals.

Australia won another eight medals - five silver and three bronze - to lift their total to 27, but didn't add to their gold tally and slipped to sixth behind Ukraine in the standings.

Clifford's gutsy run, where he broke down after just falling short to Spaniard Yassine Ouhdadi El Ataby in the men's 5000m T13 race, was one of the day's standout efforts.

The 22-year-old Melburnian, who has a visual impairment, then paid tribute to his late grandfather, who originally had tickets to the event.

Decorated Paralympian Evan O'Hanlon later claimed bronze in the men's T38 100m final - his seventh career medal.

Saturday night's action in the pool delivered five medals.

Lin Ma, pictured here in the table tennis men's singles - Class 9 gold medal match.
Lin Ma of Team Australia competes against Laurens Devos in the table tennis men's singles - Class 9 gold medal match. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Rowan Crothers backed up his S10 50m freestyle gold from Wednesday with silver behind Maksym Krypak in the S10 100m freestyle.

Best mates Ahmed Kelly and Glenn Patterson came second and third in the 150m individual medley SM3 final, with the latter relishing his redemption after missing selection for Rio.

Veteran Matt Levy claimed his eighth career medal - at his fifth Paralympics - when he won bronze in the men's SB6 100m breaststroke.

Australia's mixed 4x100m freestyle relay S14 team of Ricky Betar, Benjamin Hance, Ruby Storm and Madeleine McTernan won silver behind Great Britain.

Four table tennis athletes reached gold medal matches, with Ma Lin earning a silver medal after losing to Belgium's Laurens Devos 3-1.

with AAP

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