Notable performances by India Shuttlers at All England Badminton Championships 

Pullela Gopichand at the All England Badminton Championships
Pullela Gopichand at the All England Badminton Championships

The All England Badminton Championships, the world's oldest badminton tournament, had its first edition in 1898. In 2011, the tournament was given the Superseries Premier status when BWF changed its grading system.

English, Danish and Chinese shuttlers have been the most successful in raking up titles at the All England Badminton Championships. Over the years, badminton greats have gone on to win the coveted badminton event multiple times.

Some of the notable shuttlers who have been crowned champions at the event have been England legend Sir George Alan Thomas (21), Indonesia's Rudy Hartono(8) and China's Lin Dan(6).

* () denotes the number of times a shuttler has won the All England Badminton Championships title.

The 113th edition of the All England Badminton Championships is all set to start from 17th March in Birmingham, England. Amongst the successful nations, India currently stands in 13th place with two title winners at the championships.

Indian Shuttlers who have won a medal at the All England Badminton Championships

#Shri Prakash Nath

Runner up-1947

Shri Prakash Nath on the left side
Shri Prakash Nath on the left side

Nath became the first Indian badminton player to reach the finals of the All England Badminton Championships. It was in 1947 just after World War II.

However, Prakash was not the only Indian player to reach the championships. His rival and fellow Indian player Devinder Mohan also made it to the tournament. Both of them smoothly progressed through the initial rounds until they faced each other in the quarter-finals.

Both of them being great performers knew they would have a long match and exhaust each other for the finals. They mutually decided to flip a coin, and Nath won the toss.

Nath faced English player Radford in the semi-final. Defeating him, Nath entered the finals and became the first Indian shuttler to reach the finals.

However, in the finals, he lost the game against Denmark's Conny Jepsen. Prakash Nath created history for Indian Badminton at the All England Badminton Championships that year by reaching the finals.


#Prakash Padukone

Winner-1980, Runner up- 1981

Prakash Padukone created history by winning the 1980 All England Badminton Championships title. He was the first-ever Indian player to reach the top and bring home the prestigious title.

Prakash had a smooth ride in the initial rounds in which he faced an Indonesian player, Hadiyanto, and defeated him with a good lead.

In the last four rounds, he faced Frost Hansen, a Swiss player, and defeated him 15-8 and 15-10 in the game. He finally reached the finals with consistently winning all the rounds with his terrific performance.

In the finals, he faced the Indonesian player Liem Swie King. Prakash was the number three seed behind King. In the finals, the Indian shuttler had full confidence and won against the defending champion for 2 years straight.

In the first game, Prakash defeated King by 15-3, in the second game King tried to make a comeback but lost by 15-10. In the final game, the world champion tried to get a lead of 7-0, but Prakash was in full mood to win and won the last game with 15-11.


#Pullela Gopichand

(Winner-2001)

Pullela Gopichand with his trophy at All England Badminton Championship
Pullela Gopichand with his trophy at All England Badminton Championship

Gopichand became the second Indian to win the All England title in 2001. Pullela was an underdog in the competition, he was seeded in the 9-16 bracket. Nobody expected the Indian shuttler to defeat the world number one, Peter Gade in the semi-finals.

He defeated Olympic champion Ji Xingpeng from China, in the round of 16. Making his way through the Round of 32, he reached the semi-finals, where he was up against the world number one. He had a neck-to-neck fight with Peter Gade.

Gopichand however kept his calm and won the tie-breaker with 17-14, 17-15 and became the second Indian to win the title.


#Saina Nehwal

Runner up-2015

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

At the 2015 All England Badminton Championships, Saina opened up doors for Indian women athletes. She became the first Indian women's shuttler to reach the finals at the All England Badminton Championships.

Former world number one Saina is one of India's best athletes. At the 2015 Championships, she was the third seed. Nehwal reached the quarter-finals defeating South Korean Kim Hyo-Min and Indonesian Bellaetrix Manuputty.

She had tough competition against Chinese player Wang Yihan in the quarter-finals. However, she defeated her to reach the semi-finals up against another Chinese player Sun Yu and defeated her too.

In the finals, Saina was up against Spanish player Carolina Marin. She started the game with 21-16 but lost it to Carolina with 14-21 and 7-21. Saina became the first Indian woman shuttler to reach the All England Badminton Championships finals.

Also read: https://www.sportskeeda.com/badminton/pv-sindhu-and-kidambi-srikanth-spearhead-indian-challenge-at-the-all-england-open-2021

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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