Which Indian players do you think have revolutionized Badminton over the years?


#1

The first Badminton national tournament was held in India in 1934. Over the years India has seen phenomenal rise in world class players who today have placed India among the top 5 countries dominating the badminton world.

P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, and Kidambi Srikanth are ranked amongst top 10 in current BWF rankings.

Who in your opinion are notable players who have brought about this revolution over the years and left their mark?


#2

Pullela Gopichand, I think, is a person who can be counted amongst the notable players and coaches who have put India among the top badminton contenders at International level.

As a player, Gopichand has won a Gold medal at 2001 All England Championship held in Birmingham. He has also been a Bronze medal holder in singles event and won a silver in the team event at 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. He ranked # 5 in 2001, his highest world ranking.

Gopichand not only brought laurels to the country as a player, but also has a stunning track record of producing two of India’s Olympic medalist Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. He has also coached world ranking players like Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, Sai Praneeth and numerous others at his academy in Hyderabad.

Gopichand’s coaching has set a new benchmark in Indian badminton standards and redefined the yardstick of excellence in badminton in last decade.

Pullela-Gopichand-Saina-Nehwal-PVSindhu


#3

Couldn’t agree more. He has been the most influential person for the game of Badminton in India. His impact as player and particularly as Coach has been tremendous.

He is a man of integrity too. Have been an admirer of him ever since he refused to endorse cola companies. Turning down 10s of crores worth of money… more than 15 years ago.


#4

Pullela Gopichand, as you mentioned is the man behind India producing some talented players like Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kashyap, Srikanth and few more. Although there is another star in making by the national Badminton coach of India. It is none other than his daughter Gayatri Gopichand. She is the No.1 in her category and clearly shows signs of a true Champion. Badminton obviously runs in her blood and she was the youngest to be included in the Indian squad for the Asian Games along with PV Sindhu, Siana Nehwal and Ashwini Ponnappa. She has represented India at world and Asian junior championships earlier and now has made her mark in the senior category. I can smell a new champion sidelining Sindhu and Nehwal to represent India and keep the tricolour waving at the Olympics.


#5

Back in the days when coaching was not the norm, Nandu Natekar, was among the pioneer generation of badminton players in India. “I was never coached. I learned watching others playing."

Natekar has won over 100 national and international titles for India in a career spanning 15 years from 1951 to 1965. Natekar was the first Indian badminton player to to get an international medal in 1956 and made his way to the quarterfinals of the All England.


#7

With 24 international titles to her name Saina Nehwal is undoubtedly the most successful Indian badminton player who has revolutionized the sport in India.

7 superseries title, 3 Olympic representation in which she won bronze medal in her second appearance she became the first Badminton player in India to win an Olympic medal. She is also the only Indian to have won at least one medal in every BWF major individual event. Nehwal became the first Indian to win two singles gold medals (2010 and 2018) in Commonwealth Games.
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#8

Prakash Padukone, the Badminton Legend who put Indian badminton players on the International map.

Padukone dominated badminton for almost a decade from 1971-1980. He won the national badminton championship in 1971 at age 16 becoming the youngest player to win. He won successive national championship until 1979 setting a record of nine national titles in a row.

On International level, he became the 1st Indian to win the All England Championships title in 1980. This win led to his World No. 1 ranking becoming the first Indian male shuttler to reach the highest raking. Badminton in India had marked a turning point after Padukone’s ‘All England’ title. His accolades also include the gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Danish Open and the Swedish Open.

After his retirement in 1989, he started the first academy in India that aimed to produce International level badminton players. Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru saw many national and international champions like Gopichand, Aparna Popat, Ashwini Ponnappa and many more.


#9

Saina Nehwal is also the first Indian women’s player to be World No 1 in badminton in 2015. Credit goes to her for popularizing the game in modern era in India and also increasing the participation of female badminton players.


#10

Kidambi Srikanth is one of the best men’s singles badminton players. After Prakash Padukone, K Srikanth became the first Indian male shuttler in modern era to claim World No 1 spot in April 2018 and currently ranked No. 8.

He is also the only Indian who has achieved the feat of defeating the Badminton legends Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei.


#11

Pullela Gopichand , Saina Nehwal and Sindhu


#12

PV Sindhu became the first Indian shuttler to reach Olympics final. But even before that Sindhu made her mark when she broke into the top 20 at a tender age of 17. After that there has been no looking back for Sindhu.

Between 2013 and 2015, Sindhu won the Macau Open title three times in a row and the list of shuttlers whom she defeated in the finals includes names like Michelle Li, Kim Hyo-min and Minatsu Mitani.

All together she broke the career record of 293 wins and 11 international titles.
She has had some intense rivalry in the past. The first being, Carolina Marin who she faced in the 2016 Olympic final and Nozomi Okuhara of China.

Sindhu ranks 13th in the highest paid athlete in the world and the only female athlete from India to feature in the list. She has revolutionised badminton with her never say die attitude
And she’s the biggest hope to clinch a medal at the upcoming 2020 Olympics.