‘The Shark’ Norman tops Australia’s sporting rich list


MELBOURNE, Reuters

Golfer Greg Norman has topped the list of Australian sport’s highest earners for the fourth straight year, according to Australian magazine Business Review Weekly.

Norman, a former world number one who has not won a major tournament since 1993, earned an estimated A$47.8 million (US$26.3 million) for 2000, more than half of which came from endorsement contracts.

His pay cheque dwarfed that of second-placed New York Knicks basketballer Luc Longley on A$11.4 million.

Longley, like Norman, made his mark on the lucrative U.S. sports market during a long tenure with the Chicago Bulls.

Tennis player Lleyton Hewitt has moved up from 44th to 11th, earning A$3.6 million in 2000.

World number one women’s golfer Karrie Webb was the highest-ranked female, coming in at number eight on the overall list with A$5.5 million.

Webb was well ahead of Sydney Olympics 400 metres gold medallist and opening ceremony star Cathy Freeman, who was in 29th place with A$1.2 million.

Swimmer Ian Thorpe, a triple gold medallist at the Sydney Olympics at age 17, made his first appearance on the list at number 22 with estimated earnings of A$1.2 million.

The highest-ranked cricketer was Australia’s leading test wicket-taker Shane Warne, alongside Thorpe.

Thirteen of the 50 athletes listed by the magazine are golfers, while 11 soccer players made the list.