Prakash Padukone is one of India`s most popular and well known badminton players, and is widely considered the best badminton player India has produced.
Early Life of Prakash Padukone
Popularly known as the "Gentle Tiger" on the badminton court, Prakash Padukone was born on 10th June, 1955 in Bengaluru
. Prakash Padukone was the first badminton player of India to win the highly esteemed `All England Badminton Championship`. Prakash was initiated into the game at a tender age by his father Ramesh Padukone, who was the Secretary of the Mysore Badminton Association for many years.
Career of Prakash Padukone
The first official badminton event in which Prakash Padukone participated was the `Karnataka State Junior Championship` in the year 1962. Again two years later, he took part and won the State Junior Championship in 1964. Later on, in the year 1970, Prakash Padukone won the National Junior Badminton Championship. When he was just 16 years old, he won both Junior National and Senior National Badminton titles in 1971. Prakash Padukone continued to win the Senior National Badminton title consecutively for 9 years. Immediately after winning the first National Senior Badminton title, Prakash Padukone was included into the team of `Indian International Badminton team for the Thomas Cup Championship. The first international level victory of Prakash Padukone arrived a few years later in 1978. In the year 1974, he also won a Bronze Medal at the Tehran Asian Games. The legendary Indian badminton player
also won the Swedish Open and the Danish Open Championships in 1980.
In the badminton career of Prakash Padukone, the peak point arrived when he won the esteemed `All England Badminton Championship`, where he defeated Lim Swie King of Indonesia, the reigning Champion. This victory earned Prakash Padukone the number one ranking in the world; he has been the only Indian to reach that peak point till date and he also entered the group of the finest badminton players in the world. Further, in the year 1981, he won the Alba World Cup Badminton championship at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was the first Indian to win the title of World Cup. Again in the year 1982, he won the Dutch Open and the Hong Kong Open Championships. In 1983, Prakash Padukone won a Bronze Medal at the World Badminton Championship that was held at Copenhagen, Denmark.
Prakash Padukone after his retirement in the year 1991 was the chairman of the Badminton Association of India
for some time and served as the coach of the Indian national badminton team from 1993 and 1996. With Geet Sethi
, Padukone instituted the Olympic Gold Quest, an organisation aiming to promote sports in India.
Awards Received by Prakash Padukone
In 1972 he was awarded the Arjuna Award
and in the year 1982, he received the Padma Shri award
for his outstanding performances in badminton, by the Government of India
Personal Life of Prakash Padukone
Prakash Padukone has a biography written on him by Dev Sukumar. Prakash is also the father of model turned actress, Deepika Padukone
and Anisha Padukone whose aim is to become a golfer.