Kidambi Srikanth gets better of Malaysia’s star shuttler Lee Chong Wei. To become the richest badminton player on the BWF prize money list for the year. The 24-year-old Indian has also recorded better earning than women’s best and world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying.
Srikanth is in the form of his life, reaching three consecutive Super Series finals to return with two titles from the Indonesia Open and the Australia Open. The brilliant run has helped the Pullela Gopichand-trained Srikanth to break into the top 10 of the BWF men’s singles rankings.
The domination on court also puts him atop the BWF prize money list even as the 24-year-old Guntur boy was coming from a six-month injury induced layoff.
Srikanth had won $16,597.50 on court this year prior to the Singapore Open, where he reached the final. However, that has jumped to $147,847.50 thanks to his runner-up finish there, combined with triumphs at the prestigious BCA Indonesia Open and Australian Open.
What’s astonishing is that Srikanth’s prize money earnings are more than double of those of Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who trails at the second place with $71,300, while China’s Lin Dan is third with $69,795.
Meanwhile, 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu with her earnings of $47,075 remains the only other Indian in the top 10 across all categories. The badminton princess from Hyderabad is seventh on the women’s singles prize money list.
Srikanth’s career graph has been like a fairy tale. The shy shutter had entered the Pullela Gopichand Academy as a lazy talent, who would prefer to play double to avoid more work on the court. From there he rose to beat one of badminton’s all-time greats Lin Dan for the China Open crown.
An ankle injury following the 2016 Rio Games last eight round exit had forced Srikanth off the court for six months. He returned with a renowned vigour for making it to three consecutive Super Series finals, culminating into two back to back titles.
Srikanth is currently preparing for the Glasgow BWF World Championships.