The World Athletics governing body is set to become the first international sporting federation to award Olympic athletes with prize money.

A total prize fund of $2.4 million will be made available across the athletics events at the Paris 2024 Olympics, with gold medallists to receive $50,000 each. There are 48 medal events scheduled for the Paris games.

At the Los Angeles games in 2028, meanwhile, prize money will be allocated to bronze and silver medallists too.

Dating back to the Olympics’ originating as an amateur event, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has never allocated prize money itself to athletes, but instead funds the various international federations and national Olympic committees.

Now, athletics’ governing body has moved to seal off some of that funding specifically for gold medal winners.

Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, has said the move “is a pivotal moment for World Athletics and the sport of athletics as a whole.”

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He commented that it “underscores our commitment to empowering the athletes and recognizing the critical role they play in the success of any Olympic Games.”

Coe added: “While it is impossible to put a marketable value on winning an Olympic medal, or on the commitment and focus it takes to even represent your country at an Olympic Games, I think it is important we start somewhere and make sure some of the revenues generated by our athletes at the Olympic Games are directly returned to those who make the Games the global spectacle that it is."

The IOC, meanwhile, has simply said: “It is up to each international federation and national Olympic committee to determine how to best serve their athletes and the global development of their sport."

Currently, many gold medallists end up being remunerated for their achievements by national governments, various national sports bodies, or by sponsors. This is the first example, however, of an international federation choosing to go down that route.