Dominican athletes who capture gold at the London Olympics, whose opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, will get bonuses of 10 million pesos ($250,000), the government said.

The bonuses for silver and bronze medalists will be 6 million pesos ($150,000) and 4 million pesos ($100,000), respectively.

Vice President Rafael Alburquerque discussed the bonuses Tuesday during a sendoff ceremony at the National Palace for the Dominican Republic's Olympic team.

The members of the women's volleyball squad will share a bonus of 12 million pesos ($300,000) if they win gold, 6 million pesos ($150,000) for a silver medal and 2 million pesos ($50,000) for the bronze, Alburquerque said.

Those amounts exceed by several million pesos the bonuses offered for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where boxer Felix Diaz captured gold and taekwondo athlete Gabriel Mercedes took home silver.

Mercedes once again is considered a medal hopeful in the men's flyweight division, while other possible medalists include female weightlifter Yuderqui Contreras, 19-year-old artistic gymnast Yamilet Peña and track athletes Luguelin Santos and Felix Sanchez, who will compete in the 400 meters and 400 meter hurdles, respectively.

The Dominican Republic, which has won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze in 12 previous Olympic Games, is sending 35 athletes to compete in 10 sports in London. 

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