In the money: Kenneth To wins in Singapore. Photo: AP
AUSTRALIAN swimmer Kenneth To has landed a huge pay day by securing the FINA short-course World Cup top prize and says the life-changing achievement will spur him on to bigger and better things.
To, 20, assured himself a whopping winner's cheque of $US100,000 ($A96,500) as he posted another victory at the final event of the series in Singapore, finishing ahead of nearest rival George Bovell in the 100 metres individual medley on Saturday.
The win gave To an unassailable lead over Trinidad and Tobago swimmer Bovell on the overall standings heading into the final day of competition.
The Matt Brown-trained swimmer becomes only the second Australian to win an overall World Cup title after Marieke Guehrer in 2008.
And after the disappointment of missing a spot in the London Olympic team, To believes his performance in the series can be a catalyst for future success as he works towards the Rio 2016 Games.
''Missing out on Olympic selection back in April, it was very disappointing for me,'' he said. ''But I got straight back into training knowing I could go on to bigger and better things.
''To come away on this tour, even though it has been short-course swimming, I've really enjoyed it and I think what I've achieved here is well and truly more than what I could have achieved at the Olympics this year.
''I'm looking forward now to the future and Rio is definitely in my sights.''
To said while competing in the series was not about the money, claiming the huge winner's cheque would be life-changing.
''I haven't thought too much about what I'm going to do with it, but probably just store it into the bank and hopefully it will provide me with a good future,'' he said.
''It's hard earning a living off swimming and a lot of athletes my age have to work part-time jobs because there's just not enough funding to go around.
''To have this prizemoney will greatly help me in the future and hopefully I go from strength to strength.''
To signalled his potential by winning six medals at the 2010 summer youth Olympics and last year finished seventh in the 200 metres individual medley at the long-course world titles in Shanghai.
But he missed a berth in the Olympic team after he finished fourth in the selection trials as Daniel Tranter and Jayden Hadler secured the two spots on offer.
To will compete in the 100 metres butterfly event in Singapore before turning his attention to next month's short-course world championships in Turkey.
He was one of five Australian winners on Saturday. Others were Tomasso D'Orsogna (100 freestyle), Christian Sprenger (50 breaststroke), Rob Hurley (400 freestyle) and Rachel Goh (50 backstroke). AAP