One of the most popular sports around the world, badminton has, over the years, gained a lot of popularity among the masses primarily because of its simplicity. Children and adults in every corner of the world can be seen enjoying a lovely afternoon with a racquet and a shuttle in their hands. The way fans can relate to the sport is what has drawn audiences in huge numbers to badminton tournaments. Needless to say, the shuttlers too have become household names owing to the popularity of the sport.
JK Rowling once coined the phrase “Fame is a fickle friend.” Although she chose a jester-like character to be her spokesperson on this occasion, the words could not have been wiser or truer. As is the case with every other sport, the individuals involved with badminton can get catapulted to fame and stardom overnight with one remarkable performance. And, as we’ve seen too many times before, a single misfire or a sudden slump in form can push these same individuals back ten steps in their respective careers.
For the players who are able to make it big on the international stage and sustain through the level of competition as some of the best in the world, badminton, as a sport, is highly rewarding and pays dividends for their toils. Albeit not nearly close to sports like football, tennis or Formula 1 in terms of the earnings associated with it, the top badminton players do, nevertheless, earn a commendable fortune and rank among the richest athletes in the world.
Not to mention, it’s not just the earnings from their participation in the sport that contribute to a shuttler’s overall wealth. Success on the badminton court translates to widespread media attention and endorsement deals from major multinational corporations. These offer substantial monetary benefits to a player, even after they have retired from the sport. This also explains why a list of the richest players associated with badminton warrants the inclusion of yesteryear players as well.
So, without further ado, here’s a roundup of the richest badminton players in 2023.
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Net worth in 2023: USD 26 million
Widely regarded as the greatest badminton player of all time, no avid follower of the sport can be oblivious to Lin Dan. After all, the former shuttler from China holds numerous records to his name. The most significant of these is the ‘Super Grand Slam‘ which is achieved after winning all of the nine major titles in the world of badminton― an Olympic gold medal, the BWF World Championships, the Badminton World Cup (now discontinued), Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, BWF Super Series Masters Finals, All England Open, Asian Games and the Asian Championships. To date, he remains the only player to achieve this feat. He also became the first men’s singles player to win two consecutive Olympic medals when he defended his gold from the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the 2012 London Olympics.
According to reports, Lin Dan, in 2023, enjoys a net worth of USD 26 million (approximately), which makes him the wealthiest shuttler in the world. Nicknamed ‘Super Dan’ by Peter Gade, the Chinese badminton star was also inducted into the BWF Badminton Hall of Fame on May 26, 2023.
Lee Chong Wei
Net worth in 2023: USD 16 million
One of the most prominent faces in the world of sports and hailing from Malaysia, Lee Chong Wei is a legend in the world of badminton. A former world number one and winner of three Olympic medals, he’s had a career full of ups and downs. The latter encapsulates the time when he got involved in one of the most shameful practices in the world of sports―-doping. Despite the controversy, one simply cannot overlook the Malaysian shuttler’s illustrious career. After all, he has won three silver medals at the Olympic Games and as many as five gold medals in the Commonwealth Games in the entirety of his career.
A true champion, Lee Chong Wei had the most unfortunate of endings to his professional badminton career as he had to step away from the sport owing to nasopharynx cancer. Even though he recovered from the fatal disease, sadly his return to the badminton court was never meant to be.
Despite retiring from the sport four years back, Lee Chong Wei remains one of the richest badminton players in 2023. According to a report by Celebrity Net Worth, Lee Chong Wei has an estimated net worth of USD 16 million. He was inducted into the BWF Badminton Hall of Fame on May 2, 2023.
Net worth in 2023: USD 8 million
One of the greatest badminton players of the 21st century, Chen Long has won almost every major tournament there is to win in the badminton fraternity. The shuttler, hailing from China, is a former world number one who held the pole position for 76 consecutive weeks from December 2014 to July 2016. His medal tally is also quite impressive and includes a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and two gold medals at the Asian Games (in team events) in 2010 and 2018. In addition, he has won the World Championships twice in consecutive years (2014 and 2015), and the Asian Championships once (2017).
According to various reports, Chen Long, in 2023, has a net worth of around USD 8 million. He is one of the richest badminton players in the world, even two years after his retirement in 2021.
Net worth in 2023: USD 7.5 million
Regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, Taufik Hidayat is often known as ‘Mr. Backhand’ because of his impeccable backhand play, particularly the backhand smash. The Indonesian former shuttler has won several major badminton titles, including the World Championships (2005), an Olympic gold medal (2004), three gold medals at the Asian Games (in the men’s team event in 1998 and in singles events in 2002 and 2006) and three Asian Championships titles (2000, 2004 and 2007). Hidayat reached the summit of the world rankings at the tender age of 19 years in 2000 and to date, remains the youngest player to reach the top of the world rankings in the men’s singles discipline.
According to reports, Taufik Hidayat, in 2023, enjoys an estimated net worth of USD 7.5 million, effectively ranking among the wealthiest badminton players in the world.
Jan O Jorgensen
Net worth in 2023: USD 5.5 million
One of the most famous European players in the history of badminton, Jan O Jorgensen enjoyed a 15-year-long career, during which time he won the European Championships once (2014). He also came close to winning the World Championships in 2015 but had to settle for a bronze medal after losing to Lee Chong Wei in the semi-finals. The Danish player was also a part of the Denmark team that won the 2016 Thomas Cup in Kunshan, China. Jorgensen retired from professional badminton in 2020.
According to reports, Jan O Jorgensen ranks among the richest players in the world of badminton in 2023 with an estimated net worth of USD 5.5 million.
Net worth in 2023: USD 5 million
A popular shuttler from the early 2000s, Peter Gade is often considered to be one of the most successful players in the sport. The former Danish badminton player is best known for his All England Open Badminton Championships singles title win in 1999 as well as his five European Championships titles in the men’s singles event. He also reached the summit of the world rankings in 1998 and held the top spot till 2001.
Peter Gade has won as many as 22 Grand Prix titles during his time on the badminton court. He also came tantalisingly close to winning his solitary World Championships title in 2001 but unfortunately had to leave Seville that year with a silver medal.
According to reports, Peter Gade, in 2023, has an approximate net worth of USD 5 million, which makes him one of the wealthiest badminton players in the world.
Net worth in 2023: USD 5 million
A pioneering figure in India’s badminton history, Saina Nehwal is one of the most popular sports personalities in India. To be able to rank as a famous personality in a country of over a billion inhabitants speaks volumes about the potential of that individual. The 33-year-old shuttler became the first Indian female badminton player, and the second Indian shuttler overall (after the legendary Prakash Padukone), to reach the pole position in the world rankings when she achieved the feat in 2015.
Saina Nehwal’s other milestones include winning a medal at every BWF major individual event (namely the Olympic Games, the BWF World Championships and the BWF World Junior Championships). She is also the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal (winning the bronze at the 2012 London Olympics), the first Indian to reach the final of the BWF World Championships (2015) and the first Indian to win the BWF World Junior Championships (2008).
One of the greatest ambassadors of badminton from India, it’s no surprise then that Saina Nehwal ranks among the richest badminton players in 2023 with an impressive net worth of USD 5 million.
Net worth in 2023: USD 5 million
A former world champion, Wang Yihan was a famous badminton player back in the 2000s and the early 2010s. The Chinese shuttler reached the summit of the world rankings in 2009 and has enjoyed an incredible career record of 368 wins against 91 losses. She also won the World Cup in 2006 and the World Championships in 2011. Additionally, Yihan won two gold medals at the Asian Games in 2014 (in the women’s team event and the women’s singles event), and three gold medals at the Asian Championships (in 2011, 2013 and 2016). Wang Yihan also won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics after losing the final to fellow Chinese badminton player Li Xuerui. She drew the curtains on her professional badminton career in 2016.
According to reports, Wang Yihan, in 2023, has a net worth of around USD 5 million.
Net worth in 2023: USD 3.5 million
One of the most prominent faces of Badminton’s modern era, Carolina Marin, at the age of 30, holds the distinction of winning a medal in almost every BWF tournament, along with winning consecutive gold medals at the World Championships and the European Championships. The Spaniard also remains the only women shuttler to date to win the World Championships on three occasions (in 2014, 2015 and 2018). Additionally, she has won the European Championships six times (in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2022). She has also won the gold medal in the women’s singles event at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Marin is a former world number one women’s singles shuttler who held the pole position for 66 weeks.
According to reports, Carolina Marin, in 2023, enjoys a net worth of approximately USD 3.5 million. She also serves as the brand ambassador of the football league La Liga for its promotions in countries outside Spain.
Net worth in 2023: USD 3 million
Hailing from Japan, Kento Momota is famous for his relentless play style on the court. He has won several major badminton tournaments, including two World Championships titles (2018 and 2019), two Asian Championships titles (2018 and 2019) and a solitary All England Open crown (2019). The Japanese shuttler also holds a distinction in the Guinness Book of World Records for “The most badminton men’s singles titles in a season” courtesy of his 11 title wins during the 2019 season. As of September 2023, Kento Momota holds the 51st spot in the world rankings.
According to several reports, Kento Momota, in 2023, has a net worth of USD 3 million. He ranks among the highest-paid badminton players in the world at present, even though he has not enjoyed significant success in the past few years after a 2016 gambling scandal saw him get banned from the sport till late 2017.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Who is the richest badminton player in the world?
Lin Dan is the richest badminton player in the world.
– Who is the highest-paid badminton player?
Viktor Axelsen is the highest-paid badminton player in the world.
– How much is Lee Chong Wei’s net worth?
According to reports, Lee Chong Wei, in 2023, has an estimated net worth of USD 16 million.
(Main Image Credits: Courtesy Instagram/@Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei and Instagram/@SAINA NEHWAL)
(Featured Image Credits: Courtesy Instagram/@Carolina Marin)