Badminton: Rasmussen's record package

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The Independent Online
THE world champion, Peter Rasmussen, has signed a record sponsorship deal which could earn him more than pounds 300,000 in the next two and a half years.

The Dane will receive a retainer in addition to a bonus scheme which will make him the highest-paid player in the history of badminton. Carlton are backing Rasmussen in a racket, clothing and luggage endorsement package which will see him through the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

The 23-year-old enjoyed his biggest success to date last year, when he won the World Championship in Glasgow, beating Sun Jun of China in one of the most dramatic matches the sport has known.

A spokesman for Carlton said: "Peter's game went from strength to strength in 1997 and with our support we are sure he can go on to even greater success, crowning his world title with more Grand Prix titles in 1999 and an Olympic gold medal in Sydney."

Rasmussen is currently out with an ankle injury but he hopes to be fit for next month's European Championships in Bulgaria and the Thomas Cup finals in Hong Kong in May.