Korean Open offers first $1 million prize pot

Last Updated: May 22, 2010, 15:11 PM IST

Seoul: Next year`s Korean Open badminton tournament will become the first in the sport to offer over $1 million in prize money.

The event is one of five named in a media release late on Friday by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) as one of its new Premier Super Series tournaments, effectively its first "Grand Slam."

The others, agreed at a BWF council meeting in Kuala Lumpur, are Indonesia, China, the All England, and Denmark.

The Korean Open will have a purse of $1.2 million, four times as much as this year.

Prize money in Indonesia has been raised to $600,000 while the other three Premier events are offering a minimum of $350,000 each.

There will be seven other second-tier Super Series events with a minimum purse of $200,000 -- in France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and China.

Total prize money for the year, including the Premier tournaments, will rise from $3.3 million to $4.7 million.

BWF president Dr Kang Young-joong said: "There is more money in the sport, we have our first ever million dollar prize money tournament and above all the BWF received a strong interest from our member countries.

"These are positives for the sport and I firmly believe we are heading in the right direction in terms of developing and promoting the sport. The future is bright."

There were 17 applications to host a Super Series event and eight to stage one of the Premier tournaments.

The Super Series format was introduced in 2007 but after a review at the end of 2009 the decision was taken to introduce a two-tier system from 2011.

Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy told Reuters: "It will give badminton in the U.K. a real impetus in the countdown to London 2012."

Bureau Report