7 Jul 2011

Malaysian shuttlers net $13m jackpot

6:29 am on 7 July 2011

A big bank has struck a record $16.5 million sponsorship deal with Malaysia's badminton team in the hope it propels the country to its first Olympic gold medal in any sport.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia's general manager Kenny Goh says the Maybank cash injection will be used to secure an "elusive" first Olympic gold at London in 2012 and create a new pool of players.

Maybank replaces carmaker Proton as BAM's main sponsor for six years, although Proton will also continue their sponsorship deal for the next five years.

Badminton is a popular sport in Malaysia but the country has fallen behind China and neighbouring Indonesia in recent years.

World No.1 Lee Chong Wei, 28, is Malaysia's biggest hope for Olympic gold, but he plans to quit after London.