Sports minister Peter Dutton said 650 of Australia's best
athletes would benefit from a newly designed program that
reallocates A$1.6 million ($1.5 million) directly to the
brightest medal hopes and emerging talents.
That would come from a re-designed Direct Athlete Support (DAS)
program of A$48 million over four years, Dutton said in a
The means-tested scheme would mean the top medal prospects could
be in line for up to a 30 percent hike in funding, he said.
"More direct funding through the Australian Institute of Sport
for potential Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games
medalists is an important part of Australia's plan to remain on
the podium of world sport," Dutton said.
Australia has traditionally punched above its weight at the
Olympics, finishing sixth in the medals table at the 2008
Beijing Games and fourth at Athens and Sydney, but the
10th-placed haul at London prompted local media to slam sports
authorities for wasting taxpayers' money.
Australia has set itself a target of returning to the top five
at the next two summer Olympics, while producing at least 20
world champions annually.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Patrick Johnston)
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