PETALING JAYA: The unprecedented three back-to-back tournaments that successfully took place in Bangkok last month had given shuttlers a rare opportunity to make some money they couldn’t possibly earn in the same period during a regular season.
The tourneys boast combined prize funds of US$3.5mil (RM14.16mil) with the Thailand Open I and Thailand Open II offering US$1mil (RM4.05mil) each, while the season finale World Tour Finals had put up a US$1.5mil (RM6.07mil) bonus pool to be fought by only the eight best players and pairs of the season in the five events.
Hence, it certainly pays to be the top and consistent performers in those three weeks.
Viktor Axelsen of Denmark and Spain’s Carolina Marin emerged the biggest earners as they raked in US$200,000 (RM809,000) each after powering their way to two Thailand Open titles and second placings in the Tour Finals.
The duo’s earnings were way ahead of their doubles counterparts, individually.
Taiwan men’s pair Wang Chi-lin-Lee Yang and Thai mixed pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai made US$274,000 (RM1.1mil) each for their outstanding feats of clean sweeping all the three titles at stake.
That translated into US$137,000 (RM550,000) per person.
As for the 26-member Malaysian side, they accounted for a combined US$305,000 (RM1.23mil) with the top three gaining doubles pairs taking home no less than US$40,000 (RM162,000).
It came as no surprise that women’s pair Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean topped the list with total earnings of US$47,250 (RM191,200).
Mei Kuan-Meng Yean’s coffers were boosted by their two semi-final outings in the Thailand Open I (US$14,000) and Tour Finals (US$30,000).
Men’s pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik amassed US$46,500 (RM188,100) to come in second while Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong picked up US$41,250 (RM166,900) for third.
Their biggest takings were US$35,000 (RM141,700) from their runner-up results in the two Opens.
It wasn’t too shabby for the rest too as even Soniia Cheah, who earned the lowest among all, still cashed in US$2,000 (RM8,100) from two first-round exits in the first two weeks.
The other Malaysians who competed in Bangkok were Lee Zii Jia (RM63,700) and Liew Daren (RM34,400) in the men’s singles; women’s singles S. Kisona (RM16,200); men’s doubles Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (RM129,500) and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani (RM29,300); women’s doubles Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen (RM80,900) and Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (RM50,600); mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (RM50,600), Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie (RM147,700), Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (RM17,200) and Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See (RM60,700).