After it was introduced as a demonstration event in the 1972 Munich Olympics, Badminton was recognized as a discipline since the 1992 Barcelona Games. Although India is not a major powerhouse when it comes to the sport, a few outstanding once-in-a-generation talents have kept India’s prominence on the international stage.
So far, Indian shuttlers have won two medals at the mega event, while there have been a few other players making it to the quarter-finals. As we approach the postponed 2021 Tokyo Olympics in a few months time, let us have a look at the most successful Indian badminton players at the Games in the past editions.
Parupalli Kashyap (Quarter-final, London - 2012)
A product of the Pullela Gopichand Academy, Parupalli Kashyap was the trendsetter for the current crop in the men’s half, as he gained prominence after his 2010 Bronze medal win at the Commonwealth Games. Even though the shuttler went into the 2012 London Olympics with no medal expectations, his display was one to be taken note of.
The Hyderabad-based player barged past Belgium’s Yuhan Ten and Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh to enter the round-of-16. In a bravely fought match between Kashyap and Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka, the Indian held his nerve to advance to the quarter-finals and create history by becoming the first Indian to do so in the men’s event.
The quarter-final looked a task too tough to climb for Kashyap, as he was pitted against Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei. After a well-fought first game, the Indian was humbled by the legendary player, who eventually claimed the Silver medal in London.