Badminton is a widely popular sport in India, ranking second after cricket. It is no surprise that the country has produced several star players who have represented India at the international level.
Many know him as the father of Deepika Padukone, but he is a legendary name in the game of badminton. The first Indian to win the All-England Championship, Padukone also won the gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth games. A true pioneer, he was adorned with the Arjuna award in 1972 and Padma Shri in 1982.
Nehwal gained popularity and won people’s hearts when she became the first Indian badminton player to win a medal at the Olympics. She also won gold medals at the Commonwealth games in 2010 and 2018, making her a household name in her home country.
The first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, Sindhu followed in Nehwal’s footsteps. She went on to become the first Indian to win the Badminton World Championship in 2019. There is no stopping her, as she has also been a recipient of the Padma Shri and Arjuna award much like Padukone.
Lee Chong Wei
On the global radar, Malaysian player Wei retired in 2019 after winning 69 Badminton World Federation titles. Even though he never became a world champion, he won people’s hearts with his sheer resilience and skill.
Any person who enjoys the sport will know these names, as they have inspired numerous others to dust off their shoes and pick up their racquets. They are timeless and will not be forgotten any time soon.