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Australia to give para athletes same medal bonuses as Olympians

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The logo of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is displayed amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan, August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

MELBOURNE, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Australia will give its Paralympic athletes the same financial rewards for winning medals as their Olympic counterparts, officials said on Thursday.

A number of Australian Paralympic athletes have complained they receive no bonuses for winning medals, while the country's Olympians get A$20,000 for gold medals and lesser payments for minor medals.

"Our government will ensure Australia’s Paralympic athletes receive payments for winning medals at the Tokyo Games in line with the payments to our Tokyo Olympic medallists," Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sports minister Richard Colbeck said in a joint statement.

"The decision ensures Paralympics Australia can recognise our champion Paralympic athletes in line with payments made by the Australian Olympic Committee to medal-winning athletes in Tokyo."

Australia have won 13 gold medals at the Paralympics in Tokyo, which finish on Sunday.

The country won 46 medals, including 17 gold, at the Tokyo Olympics to finish sixth on the medals table.

Equality and inclusion are key themes of the Paralympics but many countries do not give medal winners the same rewards as offered to their Olympians.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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