30 Aug 2008

$US100,000 cash reward for Olympic medalist

10:36 am on 30 August 2008

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Friday gave the country's only Olympic medallist in Beijing a cash reward of $US100,000 for her performance at the games.

Swimmer Kirsty Coventry broke the world record to win gold in the women's 200 metres backstroke. She also won three silver medals.

Mr Mugabe handed the swimmer the cash at a ceremony in Harare carried live on state television. Coventry is based in the United States.

US dollars are scarce in a country struggling with an economic crisis marked by a severe shortage of foreign currency. They were carried in a briefcase by Zimbabwe's central bank governor.

Other members of Zimbabwe's Olympic team received between $US2,000 and $US10,000 each.