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PRAKASH PADUKONE
Date of Birth 10-06-1955
Nationality Indian
Sunsign Virgo
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Achievements:
  • Won the national senior title consecutively for nine years
  • Won the gold at the 1979 Commonwealth Games
  • Won the Danish Open and the Swedish Open
  • Won the prestigious All England Badminton Championship in 1979
Prakash Padukone is an Indian Badminton player, and the best Badminton player India has ever seen till now. Known as the ‘Gentle Tiger’ on the court, Prakash was the first Indian Badminton player ever to win the prestigious All England Badminton Championship.

Early Life

He was born on the 10th of June 1955 at Bangalore, Karnataka. His father, Ramesh Padukone served as the Secretary of the Mysore Badminton Association for many years, and looking great potential and talent in Prakash, introduced him to the game at quite an early age.

National Badminton

The first official Badminton tournament that Prakash participated in was the Karnataka State Junior Championship 1962, wherein he lost right in the first round. Improving his performance, Prakash was able to win the State Junior Championship 2 years later in 1964. Later, he won the National Junior Badminton Championship in the year 1970. In the same year, he occurred to witness the legendry Badminton player, Rudi Hartono of Indonesia playing a power packed game at Jabalpur, India. Rudi’s game, full of aggressiveness and power. Getting inspired by him, Prakash decided to change his style of game from mild to aggressive, and hence there was no looking back for him. He managed to win both the Junior National and Senior National Badminton titles in the year 1971, at the age of 16 years. Prakash continued to win the National Senior title for 9 years in a row, a record that has still not been equaled.

International Badminton

Right after his first National Senior Badminton title, Prakash was included into the Indian International Badminton team for the Thomas Cup Championship, but his first big victory at the International level arrived years later, in the year 1978. In the meantime, he won a Bronze Medal at the Tehran Asian Games 1974. The same year, he lost in the Quarter-Final match at the Christ Church Commonwealth Games.

The First International Achievement

He won a Gold Medal at the Edmonton Commonwealth Games 1978, beating Derek Talbot of England. This was the first major International title Prakash had won, followed by the English Masters Championship in 1979 held at Royal Albert Hall, London. Further, he won the Danish Open and the Swedish Open Championships in the year 1980.

The Golden Success

The highest point in the Badminton career of Prakash arrived when in the Final Match of the prestigious All England Badminton Championship he upset the reigning Champion, Lim Swie King of Indonesia to win the coveted title, which is considered to be the Wimbledon of Badminton.
The victory at All England Badminton Championship earned Prakash a World No. 1 ranking, something that he’s been the only Indian to achieve till date. He had now entered the league of the best badminton players in the world of his time, and in the Swedish Open tournament of 1980, he even got to clash against his Idol, Rudy Hartono in an early round of the tournament. Prakash beat Rudy by 9-15, 15-12 and 15-1, and even though he could easily win by 15-0 in the last set, he didn’t want to embarrass his Idol.Further, he won the Alba World Cup Badminton 1981 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was the first ever Indian Badminton player to win a World Cup title. He won the Dutch Open and the Hong Kong Open Championships in 1982. Prakash won a Bronze Medal at the World Badminton Championship 1983 held at Copenhagen, Denmark.

Awards & Honors
As an honor to his extra-ordinary performance as a Badminton player at the National and International level, and his exceptional services to the nation through the game, Prakash Padukone was conferred upon the Arjuna Award by the Government of India in the year 1972. Further, he was honored with the Padma Shri award in 1982.
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