Badminton Legend : Prakash Padukone
by Abdul Rauf Liaqat
Whenever one talks about badminton legends, hundreds of names comes into the mind butabout one which i am going to talk is Prakash Padukone of India. No doubt where countries like China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, England, Denmark produces a lot of players in badminton there also exist India which also give this world badminton players like no where.
Whenever we talks about shuttle badminton, Prakash Padukone comes to the top. He is well known famous legend, world knows him who is a winner of Arjuna Award and Padmashree. Prakash was born in Bangalore on June 10, 1955 and started playing badminton at very young age.
His first match was very memorable, when he lost his match, he refused to leave the court and blamed the racquet then President of Mysore Badminton Association promised him to get a new racquet. Two years later he won the Mysore State Junior Championship and in 1970 he won the Junior National Championship.
Prakash’s badminton idol was Rudy Hartono, a legendary Indonesian badminton player. Prakash luckily met Rudy Hartono in Swedish Open and beat him. When reporters asked Prakash about defeating his idol he said humbly, "I could have beaten him 15-0 in that last game but I couldn't do that to my idol, I conceded a point and finished the game".
Prakash keep on sweeping his rivals and targeted the All England Open, where he defeated Liem Swie King in straight sets. That was the crest of his career. Following the win, Prakash was ranked No 1 in the world and during his reign from 1971 to 1981 he was hardly ever beaten in India. He also won the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal in 1978.
Prakash moved to Denmark as the facilities of Badminton were better there, and won his first ever money tournament in the world. And at last after his great badminton career and reign, he retired from playing Badminton in 1988.
At present Prakash Padukone is running a badminton academy in Bangalore. The selected candidates get full coaching of badminton as well as scholarship for studies, boarding and lodging. Not only this, but they also participate in national level tournaments and also have won both state and national championships.
Young players in the academy getting training by a world legend Prakash Podukone and a 8 hours day play and exercise. Prakash guides them by time to time and teach them different tactics and strategies of playing badminton.
Prakash still seldom plays badminton just to encourage and boost himself. He also plays squash whenever he has time. Prakash’s major career achievements are:-
•Won National Junior Championships for the First time in 1970.
•Won Junior & Senior National titles in the same year in 1971.
•Was National Senior Champion for Nine Years in a row from 1971 to 1979.
•Commonwealth Games Gold medal winner in 1978 at Edmonton, Canada.
•Winner of the first Prize Money Tournament in Badminton i.e. English Masters at
Royal Albert Hall, London in 1979.
•Won the Danish Open, Swedish Open and the All England Championships in 1980.
•Became a licensed player in December 1980 & moved to Copenhagen, Denmark.
•Winner of the first Alba World Cup in October 1981 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
•Won the First Indian Open Prize Money Tournament at Pune during November 1981.
•Won the Dutch Open in 1982.
•Won the Hong Kong Open in 1982.
•Winner of the Bronze Medal in the World Championships held in Copenhagen,Denmark in 1983.
•"Arjuna Award" winner in 1972.
•Awarded "Padmashree" in 1982.
•Manager of the Indian Team which won the Silver Medal in the Men's Event & Bronze Medal in the Women's Event of the Commonwealth Games 1998.
Picture Source : Google Images