CHENNAI: Kidambi Srikanth has scaled another peak. Not World No 1 in rankings yet, the player from Andhra’s Guntur is topping the list of prize money-earners for the year.
A list released by the Badminton World Federation shows him with earnings of $149,797.50 (Rs 98.2 lakh approx) in 2017 so far. The 24-year-old leads the way in men’s and women’s singles.
PV Sindhu is third on the women’s list, with $93,212.50 (Rs 61.1 lakh). Saina Nehwal is 14th, her prize money amounting to $25,427.50 (Rs 16.67 lakh). Curiously, Srikanth said he is not aware of this.
“It’s not about the prize money. It’s more about performing well,” he said. He is busy training, aiming to add to his tally of two Superseries titles this year. He won these in Australia and Indonesia, with respective prize purses of $ 56,250 and $ 75,000. Although he lost in the World Championship quarterfinals, these results propelled him to the top of the money list.
That five Indians are in the top-20 of the men’s singles rankings, coupled with Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth’s entry into the top earners’ list, bode well for the future of Indian badminton. “It’s a good sign that everyone is playing well. It’s not about me and Sai Praneeth. It’s about everyone in the men’s singles category,” said the World No 8.
Incidentally, the amount raked in by Srikanth is negligible compared to what many cricketers earn in the Indian Premier League. Sai Praneeth is the other Indian in the top 10 at eighth, with earnings of $47,547.50. Chinese great Lin Dan is third with $71,745, while Danish Viktor Axelsen, who won the World Championships this August, is at sixth with $54,450.
In the women’s category, Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara occupy the top two positions, with $135,225 and $97,912, respectively. However, as a reflection that the Indians are still catching up in the doubles categories, none have managed to make it near the top of these lists.
1) Kidambi Srikanth
(India - $149,797.50)
2) Lee Chong Wei
(Malaysia - $83,650.00)
3) Lin Dan
(China - $71,745.00)
1) Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei -$135,225.00),
3) PV Sindhu (India -$93,212.50),
14) Saina Nehwal (India - $25,427.50)