India has risen extensively in the sport in recent years.
Indian badminton players have achieved a lot of success at the international level when it comes to winning medals. The sport which was often dominated by the Chinese, Koreans, and Malaysians, has seen a lot of Indian players making their mark on the world circuit in recent times.
Many Indian shuttlers have exceeded expectations on the world stage. Let’s have a look at some of the biggest achievements by Indian players on the world stage.
10. Prakash Padukone’s All England and World Championships feat
Former World No. 1 Prakash Padukone is often referred to as the ‘founder’ of Indian badminton. The Indian shuttler had a lot of notable achievements in his career.
In 1980, Padukone became the first-ever player from India to win the prestigious All England Open. Three years later, in 1983, he won bronze at the World Championships in Denmark, also a first for an Indan.
9. Pullela Gopichand’s All England feat
Pullela Gopichand scripted history by becoming only the second player from India to win the All England Open in 2001. The Indian shuttler followed in the footsteps of his mentor Padukone and relived the history created by the latter.
8. Saina Nehwal Commonwealth Games medals in 2010 and 2018
When we think of players who strengthened India’s place in badminton, Saina Nehwal’s name is always on the cards. The former World No. 1 became the first women’s singles player from the country to win gold at the Commonwealth Games 2010.
After eight years, the Indian ace recreated history by winning the title again in 2018 and became the only female shuttler from her country to win two golds at the Commonwealth Games.
7. PV Sindhu’s bronze medal at World Championships
PV Sindhu has had a significant role to play in making Indian badminton reach new heights on the world stage. Back then, Sindhu had just arrived on the international circuit and did it emphatically.
The Indian player won bronze at the World Championships 2013 and became the first-ever female shuttler from India to win a medal at the event.
6. India’s first-ever silver medal at World Championships
Saina continued her reign in the major tournaments, as she fetched yet another valuable achievement for her country. The eventual Olympic bronze medalist won silver at the World Championships in 2015 and bagged the first-ever silver medal for India at the event.
5. Four Super Series titles by Srikanth in calendar year
Indian men’s singles shuttler Kidambi Srikanth won four Super Series titles (now World Tour titles) in a calendar year and became the first Indian shuttler to do so.
His record was previously held by legends Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, and Chen Long. The former World No. 1 also reached his career-high rankings during this period.
4. Saina Nehwal’s bronze at London Olympics
Saina Nehwal scaled a historic achievement by bringing the first-ever medal in badminton at the Olympics. The former World No. 1 won bronze at the London Olympics 2012 and became the first woman Indian shuttler to do so. The achievement brought a lot of glory to India, as no other player had managed to do it then.
3. Sindhu’s gold medal at World Championships
PV Sindhu ended the jinx of her defeats two consecutive times at the World Championships and won the first-ever gold medal for her country. The former World No. 2 also completed a full set of medals at the World Championships after having won two bronze and silver each.
This achievement also made her only the second woman, after Zhang Ning of China, to win five World Championships medals in history.
2. Sindhu’s Olympic silver
At the Rio Olympics in 2016, after Saina Nehwal’s withdrawal, Sindhu was the only representative in the women’s singles from India. The lanky Indian shuttler, who was World No. 12 then, didn’t disappoint.
Sindhu went on to win the first-ever silver medal for India in badminton at the Olympics after going down against Spaniard Carolina Marin in the final. The player defeated some top shuttlers like Tai Tzu-ying, Wang Yihan and Nozomi Okuhara on her way to the final. The shuttler followed in Saina’s footsteps from London 2012 to take her country one place better at Rio 2016.
1. Second consecutive Olympic medal
PV Sindhu recreated her magic at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by winning yet another medal and became the first Indian woman to win back-to-back medals at the Olympics. Sindhu lost the gold medal after facing a defeat against Tai Tzu-Ying in the semi-finals. However, she didn’t disappoint in the bronze medal match against He Bing Jao and won the match in straight games.
The mega-star Indian finished with a bronze medal this time. Her achievement made her one of the greatest players in India, as no other player had managed to win consecutive medals in any sport at the Olympic Games.