x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Olympic medal winner Saina Nehwal becomes India's highest-paid non-cricketer

The badminton star has signed a three-year deal worth more than Dh27m after winning bronze at London 2012.

Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal (left) became the first Indian badminton player to earn an Olympic medal when world number one Wang Xin retired in tears from their bronze medal play-off.
Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal (left) became the first Indian badminton player to earn an Olympic medal when world number one Wang Xin retired in tears from their bronze medal play-off.

Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal has become India's highest-paid sportsperson outside cricket after signing a three-year $7.4m (Dh27.1m) deal with a sports management firm.

The badminton star, who took bronze at London 2012, has signed the deal with Rhiti Sports - which also manages India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The 22-year-old, who is the only non-Chinese competitor in the world top five rankings, became the first Indian to win an Olympic badminton medal, also clinched gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

"We are proud to be associated with someone who is not only a youth icon for women in the country but has also done a lot for badminton as a sport," said Arun Pandey, chairman and managing director of Rhiti Sports.

"She has placed India on the world map for badminton and changed the outlook of people in India towards the sport."

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