10 Famous Badminton Players in India

The ever easy sport Badminton has always been a popular sport in the subcontinent and has a huge fan following in India. Badminton was developed from older games of shuttlecock and battledore during British India. It is actually a European game that was first dominated by Denmark, but later it got more popular in Asia, and recently china started dominating the game. This list of top 10 famous badminton players in India will put light on some of the best Indian badminton players.

Badminton is the second most popular and played sport in India after cricket. India has had a sew-saw kind of relation with the h games, sometimes on the top, and sometimes hit bottom with not so challenging performances at the international level.

Nevertheless, India has always produced some of the best badminton players with extraordinary skills. Indian Badminton players have made the nation proud at almost every stage, whether it be the Commonwealth Games or the prestigious Olympics.

These are India’s top 10 famous badminton players of all time.

1. Prakash Padukone

Prakash Padukone - The famous players of badminton in India
India’s Famous Badminton Players: Prakash Padukone

Prakash Padukone is a legend of the game and one of the most recognizable players in Indian Badminton arenas, being the first Indian to win the All England Championships Title. He was the first Indian Badminton player to reach the No.1 spot in 1980.

He is also co-founder of a foundation called Olympic Gold Quest, which follows a goal to promote Olympic sports in India. He is hugely respected in the Badminton circuit for his humble and helping attitude towards young budding badminton players.

Major Awards & Achievements

AchievementYear
Arjuna Award. 1972
Padma Shri Award. 1982
World Championships Bronze (Singles).1983
Commonwealth Games Gold. (Singles)1978
Asian Games Bronze.  (Team) 1974
Asian Games Bronze. (Team) 1986
World Cup Gold.  (Singles) 1981
World Grand Prix Gold. (Singles)  1979
All England Open (Singles). 1980

2. Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal - famous badminton players in India
India’s Popular Badminton Player: Saina Nehwal

Badminton star Saina Nehwal is the most popular female Badminton player in India. She is the first Indian player to secure an Olympic medal in Badminton, Bronze in the 2012 London Olympics. She is a very celebrated player in India, she is also the only Indian female player to become World No.1 and has won 24 titles in her ongoing career.

She has inspired a lot of young girls to pick up this sport and is one of the most successful women in Indian Sports.

Major Awards & Achievements

Achievement                                                     Year
Arjuna Award.2009
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.2009
Padma Shri Award2010
Padma Bhushan Award2016
BWF Most Promising Player of the Year.2008
Olympic Bronze (singles).2012
BWF World Championships Silver2015
BWF World Championships Bronze2017
Commonwealth Games Gold (Singles).2018
Commonwealth Games Gold (Mixed Team).2018
Commonwealth Games Gold (Singles).2010

3. Pullela Gopichand

Pullela Gopichand is one of the players of badminton in India
India’s Popular Badminton Player: Pullela Gopichand (Coach of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal)

After Prakash Padukone, Pullela Gopichand is the second player to win the All England Championship Title. He is not only one of the best Indian badminton player but also one of the best Badminton mentors.

He is the current National Badminton Coach. He is one of the primary motivators behind the success of India’s two leading shutters P.V.Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.

He has his coaching centre in Hyderabad, where he trains young badminton prodigies. Due to a frequent injury struck career, Gopichand had to retire early, but he stills works hard to help Indian Badminton to reach at the top internationally.

Major Awards & Achievements

Achievement                                                 Year
Arjuna Award1999
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.2001
Padma Shri Award2005
Padma Bhushan Award2014
Dronacharya Award.2009
Commonwealth Games Silver (team).1998
Commonwealth Games Bronze (Singles).1998
All England Open (Singles).   2001

READ: Famous Football Players in India

4. PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu won the world championship to become the players of badminton in India
India’s Popular Badminton Player: PV Sindhu (World No.1)

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu rose to fame during the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Sindhu became the youngest and first Indian woman to win a silver medal in the Olympics. She also won the 2013 World Badminton Championship, making her the first Indian Badminton player to achieve this feat.

Sindhu is one of the famous badminton players in India and the current powerhouse of Indian Badminton. She has a lot of young fans who wish to replicate her extraordinary skills on the court. 

In a short period, PV Sindhu along with Saina Nehwal has become the flag bearers of Badminton in India, PV Sindhu always looks competitive in her matches and continuously strives to get to the World No.1 spot time and time again.

Major Awards & Achievements

AchievementYear
Arjuna Award.2013
FICCI Breakthrough Sportsperson.2014
Indian of the Year.2014
Padma Shri Award2015
Olympic Silver medal – Rio Olympics.2016
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.2016

5. Srikanth Kidambi

Srikanth Kidambi is currently men's famous players of badminton in India
India’s Best Male Badminton Player: Srikanth Kidambi

The current leading male Badminton player India is Srikanth Kidambi; the ace shutter had become World No.1 in 2018. It just took home two years after his debut to reach the World No.1 spot. He is a remarkable player, often defeating the likes of top shuttlers Chong Wei and Lin Dan.

He has inked his name in the list of great Indian Badminton players by winning the most number of super series titles by an Indian male shuttler. Srikanth is also another wonder kid out of the Gopichand Academy in Andhra Pradesh.

He is the first Indian male to win the Swiss Open Grand Prix. He has also won the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for his exemplary performances representing the Indian colours.

Major Awards & Achievements

Achievement.Year
Arjuna Award.2015
Padma Shri.2018
CNN-IBN Indian of the year in sports.2017
Commonwealth Games Gold.  (Mixed team)2018
Commonwealth Games Silver (Singles)2018
South Asian Games Gold (Singles) 2016

6. Jwala Gutta

India’s Best Doubles Badminton Player: Jwala Gutta

Jwala Gutta is the first Indian badminton player to qualify for two events in the Olympics, Jwala Gutta is known as a never give up attitude and aggressive player who led her to a lot of success in the doubles category of the game. She is one of the prominent Indian shutters who have brought recognition to Indian badminton at the global stage.

She is very popular in the Badminton stage and has a lot of fans, maybe because of her skilled netplay and unique style of service since she is the only top doubles player to use the forehand service. She is a very smart and deceptive player and also has tremendous frontcourt skills.

Awards & Achievements:

AchievementYear
Arjuna Award.2011
14 Gold Medals for Women’s Doubles Championship2004 to 2008
5 Gold Medals for Mixed Doubles Championship2006 to 2008

7. Nandu Natekar

India’s Popular Badminton Player: Nandu Natekar

In late 1956, Nandu Natekar won the first international title for India in badminton. It doesn’t do injustice to his nickname ‘God of Indian Badminton,’ he has been a marvellous player when in his peak form and had ignited the craze for Badminton in India. People used to say Natekar was just invincible and considered as the home court’s king.

With a total of winning more than 100 international and national titles, Natekar is one of India’s most decorated Badminton players. He also founded an academy “NSF – Natekar Sports & Fitness” to groom aspiring and upcoming badminton talents.

Awards & Achievements

AchievementYear
Arjuna Award.1961
Most popular Indian Sportsperson.1961
IBF Meritorious Service Award.1989
Lifetime Achievement Award.2001
Sahyadri Navratna Puraskar.2002

8. Parupalli Kashyap

Famous Badminton Players in India: Parupalli Kashyap

Husband of Badminton star Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap, is a pro-Badminton player for India and plays for the Banga Beats in the Indian Badminton League. He made his name in the 2012 London Olympics, where he reached the quarterfinals of the competition and was the only Indian male to reach that far at the time. 

Though he has asthma, it took sheer will and determination to pave his way to the list of top famous Indian badminton players. He also secured a men’s singles gold medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Major Awards & Achievements

Achievement.Year
Arjuna Award.2012
Commonwealth Games Gold (singles).2014
Commonwealth Games Bronze (singles).2010

9. Aparna Popat

Famous Badminton Players in India: Aparna Popat

Legendary shuttler Aparna Popat is one among the list of All-time greats of the game from India. Most of the consecutive times, she holds the record of achieving National Senior level Women’s badminton title the most times consecutively.

She was coached by the legendary Prakash Padukone to sharpen her skills and enhance her capabilities on the court. She then went on to equal her master’s record at the national level with 9 National Single titles. She also had a decent international career and managed to win a Women’s singles silver in Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

Awards & Achievements

AchievementYear
World Junior Championship (Runner-up).1996
Commonwealth Games Silver1998
French Open (Singles). 1998
National Women’s title from1996 to 2003
Arjuna Award.2005

10. Ashwini Ponnappa

Ashwini Ponnappa
Famous Badminton Players in India: Ashwini Ponappa

Ashwini Ponappa, along with Jwala Gutta, shared an iconic partnership and went on to bring a lot of laurels to India. Both of them went on to be India’s top Badminton player in the doubles category.

Ponappa is part of the first Indian pair and only the second overall to win a medal at the BWF World Championships. The Ashwini-Jwala pair had won multiple international titles, including bronze in Uber Cup, gold in Commonwealth Games, and Asian Badminton Championship. 

They were consistent rank holders in the top 20 in the BWF World Ranking, touching as high as no. 10. Ashwini Ponappa didn’t receive much appreciation compared to Jwala Gutta, but she is one of the finest badminton players produced in India.

Major Awards & Achievements

Achievement.Year
Arjuna Award.2012
Commonwealth Games Gold (Mixed team)2018
Commonwealth Games Gold (Doubles) 2014
Commonwealth Games Silver (Doubles) 2010
Commonwealth Games Silver (Mixed team) 2014
BWF World Championship Bronze (Doubles) 2011
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