Eminent Players of India
Anup Sridhar, the 23 years old National Badminton Champion, made a triumphant mark in the year 2005 in the 30th Hungarian International. Winning this prestigious international tournament, Anup Sridhar attracted the attention of many a famous badminton personalities. Anup Sridhar reached the quarter final of BWF World Championships in the year 2007 where he played against Lin Dan – one of the top seeds. Being a National Champion for two times, Anup Sridhar has become one of the most popular badminton players of India.
Prakash Padukone is a renowned badminton player of Indian origin who has created the record of being the National Champion from the year 1970 to 1978. Prakash Padukone was born in Bangalore city, Karnataka in the year 1955. Having a keen interest in badminton, Prakash Padukone used to watch the tournaments played by famous players with great curiosity. This very interest and his personal zeal made him the National Junior Champion at the tender age of 14.
In the year 1971, Prakash Padukone won both the boy’s and men’s singles tournament. Achieving the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the year 1978 was a big boost to his career. The triumph in the All England Badminton Championship is the next big leap in the career of Prakash Padukone which took place in the year 1980.
Some of the major achievements of Prakash Padukone in the field of badminton are listed below:
- Receiver of Padmashree award in the year 1982
- National senior champion from 1971 to 1979
- Winner of First Open Prize money tournament in Pune in the year of 1981
- Receiver of Arjuna Award in 1972
- Winner of Dutch Open in 1982 English Masters at royal Albert Hall of London in the year 1979
- Gold medalist at commonwealth Games of 1978
- Winner of hong Kong Open in the year 1982
- Trained the team that bagged the silver medal in the Men’s Event & bronze medal in the Women’s Event, Commonwealth Games of 1998
- Bagged bronze medal in the 1983 Copenhagen World championships
Saina Nehwal, an Indian badminton player, was born on 17 March 1990 in Hisar District, Haryana. She is currently ranked number 1 in the world by the Badminton World Federation and is the first Indian woman to achieve this feat. She is also the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships and a medal in Badminton at the Olympics. She won a Bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, becoming the second Indian women to win an individual medal at the sports event. She is supported by the Olympic Gold Quest.
Saina started her badminton training under the apt guidance of S.M. Arif, who was a Dronacharya Awardee. She is currently coached by Indonesian badminton legend Atik Jauhari along with the former all England champion and national coach Pullela Gopichand as her mentor. Being born to Harvir Singh Nehwal, who is a scientist at Directorate of Oilseeds Research and Usha Nehwal, Saina Nehwal has always received the support of her family members.
Saina Nehwal trains at Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad. From her initial years as a badminton player, she has always shown a lot of potential in herself. Being a National Junior champion, she has performed well in major tournaments, both in national and international ones. She has clearly made a mark of her own.
In 2006, Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman to win a super-series tournament, the Philippines Open. In 2008, she became the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships. She also won the 2008 Chinese Taipei Open Grand Prix Gold, the Indian National Badminton Championships and the Commonwealth Youth Games in the same year. She was declared as the most promising player in 2008.
In the 2012 London Olympics, Saina Nehwal won a bronze medal and became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in badminton. For her huge achievement the state governments of Haryana, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh offered her huge cash prizes and the Sports Minister promised Saina a job equivalent to the rank of an IAS officer. Her success at the Olympics has surely opened new doors for sports to grow in India.
Awards and Accolades :
2009: Arjuna Award
2009-2010: Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
2010: Padma Shri
P. V. Sindhu
P. V. Sindhu or Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is an ace shuttler and silver medalist at 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. This young badminton player from Andhra Pradesh was born to volleyball players P. V. Ramana and P. Vijaya in the year 1995. Her father was honoured with Arjuna Award for having displayed excellence in his sport. One of the youngest and talented badminton players of the contemporary times, Sindhu has featured in top 10 in the world badminton rankings for the most part of 2014.
P. V. Sindhu’s Recognitions
- On 7 July 2012, she won Asia Youth Under-19 Championship. In the same year, she stunned London 2012 Olympics gold medallist from China and entered the semi-finals of Li Ning China Masters Super Series tournament.
- Sindhu’s performance at Malaysian open 2013 made her win the maiden Grand Prix Gold title.
- The best moment in her career perhaps came in the same year when she became India’s first medallist in women’s singles at the Badminton World Championships.
- P. V. Sindhu ended 2013 on a happy note by winning Macau Open Grand Prix Gold title, and the Arjun Award, one of the highest honours for a sportsperson in the country.
- In 2014, she won back-to-back medals in the World Badminton Championship and became the first Indian to do that.
- In 2015, she played at the Denmark Open and reached to the final defeating three seeded players, namely Tai Tzu-ying, Wang Yihan and Carolina Marin. In November the same year, she defeated Japan’s Minatsu Mitani and bagged successive women’s singles title at the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold.
- 2016 brought her another achievement of winning the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold women’s singles title, where she defeated Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour in the final. In August, she reached the semifinal of the women’s singles event at the 2016 Summer Olympics after defeating World No.2 Wang Yihan.
- She created history by reaching the finals after beating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s singles semi-final in the Rio Olympics. She won a silver medal in the finals, while the gold has been taken by Spain’s Carolina Marin.
- She defeated Carolina Marin and won 2017 India Open Superseries title.
Mary Kom is an Indian boxer from the northeast state of Manipur, born on 1st March 1983, Mangte Chungneijang. She is also known as MC Mary Kom or Magnificent Mary. Mary Kom is famed as a five-time World Boxing Champion and the only boxer to win a medal in every one of the six world championships. In the 2012 Olympics, she became the first Indian women boxer to qualify and win a bronze medal in the 51 kg flyweight category of Boxing. She is currently ranked as Number. 4 in the Flyweight category of AIBA World Women’s Ranking.
Mary Kom’s career started in 2000 after her victory in the Manipur state women’s boxing championship and the regional championship in West Bengal.
Awards and recognitions
- Arjuna Award (Boxing) in 2003
- Padma Shree (Sports) in 2006
- Contender for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2007
- People of the Year – Limca Book of Records in 2007
- CNN-IBN & Reliance Industries’ Real Heroes Award in 2008
- Pepsi MTV Youth Icon in 2008
- ‘Magnificent Mary’, AIBA in 2008
- Felicitation by Zomi Students’ Federation (ZSF) at New Lamka YPA Hall in 2008
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2009
- International Boxing Association’s Ambassador for Women’s Boxing in 2009
- Sportswoman of the year, Sahara Sports Award in 2010
Anju Bobby George
Anju Bobby George (born 19 April 1977) is a renowned Indian athlete. She is a recipient of many sports honours at both national and international levels. Currently, she is the Chairperson of Target Olympic Podium Scheme(TOPS) and is also the Khelo India project ‘s Executive member.
In 1999, she set the national record for triple jump in the Bangalore Federation Cup. She improved on her own record in the National Circuit Meet at Thiruvananthapuram. She won the gold medals in the triple jump and long jump in the Ludhiana and Hyderabad National Games. She won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Busan, South Korea. Anju Bobby George hit headlines in 2003 when she won the bronze medal (Long Jump, jumping 6.7 m) at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. This made her the first India to win a medal at the World Championships in Athletics. Her personal best was a jump of 6.83 m at the 2004 Summer Olympics at Athens, but it fetched her only the sixth position. Her other victories include a silver medal in women’s long jump in the Doha Asian Games, 2006.
Awards and recognition
- Anju Bobby George was a recipient of the prestigious Arjuna award in 2002-2003.
- Anju Bobby George was also awarded the country’s highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2003-2004.
- Anju Bobby George was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004.
Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj is also known by other name is “The Haryana Hurricane” was born on 6 January 1959 in Chandigarh. He led India to their first and only World Cup title in 1983 and was named by Wisden as the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002. Kapil Dev made his international cricket debut against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 1978-79.
He was a very successful bowler. Kapil became the second bowler ever to take 400 wickets in Test cricket in 1991. He went on to become the highest Test wicket-taker in the world in 1994, a record which was broken by Courtney Walsh in 1999. Kapil’s name has entered the record books for being the only player to have scored 4,000 Test runs and taken 400 Test wickets. In 1988, Kapil becomes the highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket before his record was broken by Wasim Akram in 1994.
A very attacking player, he loved to take the fight to the opposition’s camp. One of his most memorable innings was in a match en route to the World Cup final of 1983 when he scored 175 not out against Zimbabwe, rescuing India from a precarious position at 17/5 and finally turning the game in India’s favour.
He retired from cricket in 1994 and was appointed as the coach of the Indian national cricket team in 1999, but he resigned in 2000. He was awarded the Arjuna Award for 1979-80, the Padma Shri in 1982 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is a former cricketer and captain of the Indian team. The world famous cricketer had set many records in his career and is considered one of the greatest batsmen of all times. He is the cricketer with most centuries scored among all the cricketers and he is the only one to score more than 30,000 runs in the game.
Ashwini Nachappa is a former athlete and an Indian film actress from Karnataka. She gained popularity during the 1980s after outrunning P.T. Usha on two separate occasions. She is popularly known as ‘Flo Jo’, or ‘Florence Griffith Joyner of India’. Like Flo Jo, Nachappa was known for her performances in the field along with her glamorous appearance. Her popularity and glamour-queen outlook brought her many film proposals, which she later accepted, only to become a well-known film actress in ‘Tollywood’, the south Indian film industry. She was honored with the Arjuna Award in the year 1990. She is also a social worker and an educationalist besides being an entrepreneur (she runs her own school). Currently, she is the president of the Bangalore Urban District Athletics Association.