Decades before Saina Nehwal became the international icon she is today, Prakash Padukone had put Indian badminton on the map. Today, badminton is considered to be the second most popular sport in the country. If Indian badminton players are counted amongst the best in the world today, credit, in no small measure, goes to those who came before them, playing pioneering roles and shaping the future of the game in the country. As India prepares to assert itself even more firmly in badminton, let us take a look at the ten greatest achievements in the sport by Indian shuttlers till date.
#1 Prakash Padukone\'s win at All England Championship
A child prodigy, Prakash Padukone started playing badminton at a very young age, participating in the Karnataka State Junior championship when he was all of seven years old.
He began to get noticed when, as a 16-year old, he won his first National Senior Championship. His 1971 triumph at the National Championship was to be the beginning of a nine-year domination at the event.
Despite having won the bronze at the 1974 Asiad in Tehran, he wouldn’t come to the attention of the International media till 1978 when he won the Gold medal in the Commonwealth Games held at Edmonton. But, greater laurels awaited him in 1980.
Padukone hit a purple patch in 1980. After winning the Danish and the Swedish Opens, Padukone set his sights on the All England Open Badminton Championship, widely regarded as the most prestigious event in badminton. In the final, Padukone overcame his Indonesian rival Liem Swi King in a largely one-sided final to become the first Indian ever to win the title. The score of the final read 15-3, 15-10.