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All England Open

Who are the Indians to win a medal at the All England Open?

Published at :March 16, 2022 at 11:46 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : The Times of India)

Bhanu Pratap Singh

The competition is one of the biggest events on the BWF World Tour.

The All England Open is one of the most historic and prestigious tournaments on the BWF World Tour. The event witnesses players from different countries winning or retaining their titles every year.

The tournament, in its timeline, has a lot of successful players who lifted the historic trophies. India too has some of its own players who have managed to win medals at prestigious editions. Let’s have a look at all the Indian players who’ve won a medal at the All England Open.

1. Prakash Padukone (1980 & 1981)

Prakash Padukone is considered one of the pioneers in Indian badminton. From becoming the first Indian player to win a World Championship medal to becoming the first World No. 1 from the country, Padukone set the foundation for India in badminton with his invaluable achievements.

His success at the All England Open was no exception. The former World No. 1 was also the first-ever Indian to win the All England badminton tournament in 1980. His streak didn’t end there, as he won yet another medal in the following year, but had to settle as the second best. Interestingly, Padukone had faced the same opponent, Liem Swie King in both years.

2. Pullela Gopichand (2001)

Gopichand won the All England Open in 2001 (Courtesy: FirstPost)

Pullela Gopichand won the All England Open in 2001. His achievement came like a bolt from the blue for many. Gopichand entered as a surprise package in the then four-star event on the BWF circuit.

The player had an easy ride till the quarter-finals, before facing Danish ace Peter Gade in the semis. The Indian shuttler wasn’t expected to stand a chance against the in-form Gade. But, contrary to everyone’s expectations, the player won the match in two straight games 17-14, 17-15, and made history by becoming only the second Indian to reach an All England final.

In the final, Gopichand faced China’s Chen Hong. Once again, it didn’t seem as if the Indian would win the match. However, the shuttler convincingly won the final showdown and scripted history by becoming the second Indian to win an All England title.

3. Saina Nehwal (2015)

The former World No. 1 and London Olympics bronze medalist reached the finals of the All England Open in 2015, with the intention of ending her country’s title drought at the then premier Super Series (now Super 1000) event.

Saina marched past convincingly in the initial stages of the tournament. She comfortably outclassed the Chinese challenge in the quarters and the semi-finals by defeating Wang Yihan and Sun Yu respectively.

In the final, Nehwal needed to blaze past Spaniard Carolina Marin. The former World No. 1 began extremely well by taking the first game 21-16. In the second, after having led with a good cushion of points in the first half, she lost the game by 14-21. Saina was expected to show her great fighting spirit in the last game, but got completely stifled by Marin’s attacks and lost the decider easily, hence losing the match 21-16, 14-21, 7-21.

Although Saina lost the final, it made her the first Indian woman shuttler to win a medal at the All England Open.

After Saina Nehwal, no player has managed to win a medal from India in any discipline at the All England Open. It has been more than seven years since the last player won the title from the country. With a strong contingent this year, a medal looks more than likely.

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