Bangalore’s 7 gifts to the World: # 6 – Prakash Padukone
Bangalore’s list of gifts to the world would sound incomplete, without one of the greatest sportsman of our country Prakash Padukone. To come from a cricket crazy country, which turns a blind eye towards any sports apart from cricket and achieve so much in the field of badminton is no mean achievement.
Known as the ‘Gentle Tiger’, he was won the London Masters Open, Swedish Open, Denmark Open and All England Open. If am not wrong, winning the All England Open is equivalent to winning the Wimbledon in tennis.
Some of his achievements are here as follows (Source: Prakash Padukone on India Visit)
* Was National Senior Champion for Nine Years in a row from 1971 to 1979.
* Commonwealth games Gold medal winner in 1978 at Edmonton, Canada.
* 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.
His passion for the game of badminton hasn’t diminished, even after his retirement. He setup a sports academy in Bangalore, which is laudable, since the infrastructure for sportspeople needs a lot of improvement. Go to their website, to see the number of badminton players the academy is churning out. Let’s hope there are many more champions from this academy, to make not just Bangalore, but our whole country proud!