The NSW Institute of Sport congratulates Eileen Cikamatana (weightlifting) who is among six Australian athletes to be awarded Olympic Scholarship funding for Paris 2024, with each athlete set to receive US $25,000 to support them with the ultimate goal to qualify and compete at Paris.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has today congratulated the six Australian athletes including:
- Caitlin Parker (Boxing)
- Eileen Cikamatana (Weightlifting)
- Laura Paeglis (Archery)
- Jayden Lawrence (Wrestling)
- Nicholas Lum (Table Tennis)
- Uros Nikolic (Judo)
Each recipient will each receive US$8,333 in 2022, 2023 and 2024 to maximise their high performance plan over the Paris quad.
Funded through the IOC Solidarity program, the athletes were nominated by their National Federations and selected based on their athletic achievement and dedication to competing at the highest level.
Paeglis is a Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympian, with Parker a 2014 Youth Olympic bronze medallist and 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist. Cikamatana is a multiple junior world record holder and 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, Lum is a two-time Australian Junior Table Tennis Player of the Year, Lawrence a two-time Commonwealth Games representative and Nikolic has medalled at Asian and European Junior Championships.
Parker is the only Australian recipient to have competed at Tokyo 2020, with the remaining five athletes aiming to make their Olympic debut in Paris.
AOC CEO Matt Carroll welcomed the IOC funding, helping Australian athletes pursue their Paris Olympic dreams.
“Congratulations to Caitlin, Eileen, Laura, Jayden, Nicholas and Uros on being selected as Olympic Scholarship recipients for Paris 2024,” Mr Carroll said.
“Chasing an Olympic dream takes incredible determination and talent – these six athletes have all demonstrated they have what it takes. But they also need support to train, compete and maximise their performance opportunities around the world to provide the best opportunity to represent Australia at the Paris Games.
“This scholarship funding will help these athletes build towards their Olympic goal. Thank you to the IOC, this support makes a real difference for athletes as they strive to represent Australia in Paris.”
22-year-old NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holder Eileen Cikamatana has already shown outstanding talent, winning multiple weightlifting world cup gold medals for Australia over the past two years in the 81kg division.
Eileen said the scholarship is a major boost for her pursuit of a debut Olympics.
“I feel very honoured to have been selected for this scholarship,” she said. “For me it means that my performances, hard work and sacrifices have been recognised and that I am worthy of assistance.
“I know there are so many excellent athletes in Australia, I am so grateful I have been chosen.
“To represent Australia in Paris would be a dream come true. This scholarship reduces my concern of costs associated with training, travelling locally and internationally, competing and frequent replacement of training gear – I can stay focused and fully committed to be the best I can be.
“It means I can enter as many tournaments as I can between now and 2024 and compete against likely opponents I will meet in Paris, to keep my competitive spirit at a high level.”
More information on IOC Solidarity Funding can be found here.
Article courtesy of the Australian Olympic Committee