Written by Loh
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Do you know which of the SS countries gives the highest prize money (in US$)?
Korea - $300K! (Despite the forthcoming attempt to throw out the Korean President of BWF)
And which European country with a strong badminton background in the past dishes out only $5K as prize money? Sweden!
It is just like a first-world country paying third-world wages.
Here is the pecking order.....
$300K - Korea
$250K - Indonesia and Hong Kong
$200K - Malaysia, England, Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, China (SS & Masters), Denmark & France.
$170K - Chinese Taipei
$120K - India, Philippines, Thailand & Macau
$80K - Germany
$50K - Bulgaria, USA, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Vietnam & Netherlands
$35K - Canada (Quebec)
$15K - Brazil, Poland, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, France, Vietnam, Canada (Saskatchewan), Belgium, Bulgaria, Korea, Norway, Scotland & Pakistan
$ 6K - Slovenia
$5K - Sweden, Uganda, Iran, Austria, Croatia, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal, Czech Republic, Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, Hungary, Iceland, Malaysia, Brunei & Wales.
As you can see from the above, some countries host two tournaments with prize monies.
It would appear that BWF was able to interest hitherto unknown countries to hold international tournaments as the numbers have increased (I think).
One very glaring finding is that Asia continues to dominate in terms of both prize monies and the number of tournaments as a great majority belong to the SS and GP Gold categories.
Western Europe and the Americas do not seem to make much headway, with the exception of 'newcomers' Portugal and Brazil (?). Similarly with Africa, which can only boast of Uganda. South Africa, which should be the strongest and perhaps the most prosperous, was not in the picture.
Eastern European countries seem to show greater interest with names like Bulgaria, Slovenia, Poland, Croatia, Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic. Unfortunately, a strong badminton country like Russia was unable to obtain support. Maybe they still have not quite sorted out some internal problems.
To me names like Vietnam (especially), Pakistan, Iran, Nepal, Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, Iceland, Brunei and the Eastesrn European countries are a welcome sight. And to see the Philippines catapulting to the GP Gold level is a sight to behold!
From the BWF information, the following highlights were revealed:
1. November is the busiest month with 10 tournaments with prize monies ranging from $5K to $250K.
2. September is the most lucrative with prize monies totalling $760K (2 SS and 3 GP), followed closely by June ($745K comprising 2 SS and 2 GP).
3. May 11-18 will see the top qualified countries fighting for the Thomas and Uber Cups in Jakarta. After that the professionals may be able to win some money sponsored by KLRC for the Bulgaria Open Grand Prix.
4. August will be the most depressing month for badminton professionals with only $15K in the offing in the Indonesian Challenge at Surabaya during the last week. However, it is also the most important for the Beijing Olympics will be held from 8 - 24 and whoever wins the gold medal will be the happiest badminton player and will be richly rewarded by their respective countries.
Of course we should expect some dramatic changes to the BWF management and hopefully goodness and progress will result from them. They must try to obtain multi-million contracts for the professionals instead of wasting time, money and effort with in-fighting!