Notable records held by Indian players in badminton
Indian badminton player PV Sindhu is set to square off with Akane Yamaguchi in women's singles quarter-final at the Tokyo Olympics. Sindhu remains one of India's medal hopefuls for this edition. In fact, she is the only Indian badminton player with a silver at Olympics. Many other Indians have scripted several records in the sport. Let us have a look at the same.
First Indian to win All England Championship
Prakash Padukone is one of the greatest Indian badminton players. In 1980, he became the first Indian to win the men's singles All England Championship. The historic win made him the top-ranked player, the first Indian to climb to the top. Padukone, at 16, won the Indian National Badminton Championships in 1971. He won a total of nine such titles from 1971-1979 (most).
Gopichand emulated Padukone's feat in 2001
It took 21 years for an Indian to emulate Padukone's feat of winning the All England Championship. Pullela Gopichand became the second Indian after the former to win the prestigious championship in 2001. He overcame then world number one Peter Gade in the semi-finals before beating Chen Hong to win the title. Gopichand won the Indian National Badminton Championships for five consecutive years (1996-2000).
First Indian to win Badminton World Championships
In 2019, Sindhu became the first Indian to win the Badminton World Championships since its inception in 1977. She accomplished the milestone after defeating Japan's Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in the summit clash. With this, she emulated Olympic gold-medalist Zhang Ning's record of five medals at the event. However, she became the fastest to achieve this feat (2013-2014, 2017-2018, and 2019).
First Indian badminton player to win Olympic medal
Former world number one Saina Nehwal became the first Indian badminton player to win a medal at Olympics, in 2012. At the London Olympics, Saina won bronze when Wang Xin retired from the match after an injury at 18-21, 0-1. In 2015, Saina became the world number one after several top-notch performances. She was the second Indian after Prakash Padukone to achieve this feat.
Srikanth Kidambi has achieved these feats
In 2015, Srikanth Kidambi became the first Indian player (men's) to win gold at the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold. He accomplished the milestone by defeating Viktor Axelsen in the final. Two years later, he won the Australian Super Series by beating Chen Long in the final. He had set an Indian record for entering three consecutive Super Series finals (Singapore, Indonesia, and Australia).