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Cash bonuses a carrot for Aussie swimmers
18:40 AEST Mon Jul 2 2012

Australia's swimmers will be rewarded for winning Olympic medals and improved world rankings under a new funding deal announced by Swimming Australia on Monday.

All members of Australia's swimming team bound for the London Olympics starting this month will receive an initial share of more than $750,000 to assist in their final preparations for the Games.

Swimming Australia said the new arrangements will also lead to financial and training support for a greater number of athletes.

In addition to the initial payment, athletes will be eligible to earn financial performance bonuses based on their medal and finals achievements in London.

SA said an individual gold medal will be worth $35,000, and a relay gold medal valued at $60,000, to be shared across both heats and finals swimmers.

SA President David Urquhart said the funding and support model was crucial to maintaining and improving on Australia's success in the pool and rewarding those athletes who perform on the world stage.

"Our previous model was based around national rankings, as opposed to world rankings and international performance, and we need to put our limited resources towards aiming for international success," Urquhart said in a statement.

"It's a clear vision of the organisation to be the world's leading swimming nation by 2016 and to achieve that goal we need to make decisions in the best interest of performance, by rewarding those who are successful on the world stage."

World 100m freestyle champion James Magnussen said the incentives were personally irrelevant when it came to chasing Olympic medals, but more support for world rankings made sense.

"Olympic medals are something you grow up dreaming about, long before you think you might be able to make a living out of sport," he said.

"In all honesty my incentives for success in London are personal and in no way financial, but I see merit in rewarding success at international meets, especially if as a team we aim to return to the top of world swimming."

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