Top 10 famous Indian badminton players of all time with brief introduction of each player.
1. Prakash Padukone:
Prakash Padukone (born 18 July 1955) is a former Indian badminton player and coach. He was the winner of the All England Open Badminton Championships in 1980 and 1981, and is one of only three Indians to have ever done so. He also won the gold medal at 1982 Commonwealth Games, held in Brisbane. Prakash is currently the Chairman of the Badminton Academy of India. He was awarded Padma Bhushan (the third highest civilian award) by Government of India on 26 January 2009
2. Aparna Popat:
Aparna Popat (born 21 January 1984) is a former Indian badminton player. She trained at Gopichand Badminton Academy and won the National championships eight times from 2002 to her retirement in 2012. In 2011, she became the first Indian woman to win a super series title by capturing Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold beating Wang Lin. Popat was named as the new face of Indian badminton since her performance in the international circuit is very good. She was awarded Arjuna award by Government of India on 29 August 2011.
3. Parupalli Kashyap:
Parupalli Kashyap is an Indian badminton player who currently plays singles. He trained at Gopichand Badminton Academy. Kashyap won the bronze medal in the 2009 South Asian Games in Sri Lanka, silver medal in the 2011 BWF World Championships, gold medal in 2010 Commonwealth Games held at Delhi and 2013 Indian Open Grand Prix. Parupalli is known for his agility on court and has given some tough competition to world-class players such as Taufik Hidayat, Peter Gade and Lee Chong Wei. He is also known for his fast net play and powerful crosscourt smashes. Kashyap reached his career high ranking of World # 10 in 2011.
4. Saina Nehwal:
Saina Nehwal (born 17 March 1990) is an Indian professional badminton player. She is the first Indian women’s singles player to win a medal at the Olympics, which she won in 2012 at London. Nehwal has been consistently ranked among the top players of the world since 2009. At the 2010 Uber Cup, Nehwal clinched three out of her four matches, helping the Indian team to qualify for the semifinals. However, she could not stop China from reaching the final of 2010 Uber Cup as her performance was not good in both the semi-finals and final. Nehwal became the first India to reach quarter-final at World Championships 2010 when she defeated Jwala Gutta in rubber game 21–19, 21–15. Nehwal became the first Indian women’s singles player to win a medal at World Championships by reaching finals in 2010, where she lost to Juliane Schenk of Germany. On 25 August 2011, she achieved the number one position in world rankings for the first time.
5. Pullela Gopichand:
Pullela Gopichand (born Gopi Mohan) is an Indian badminton player, coach and the current national coach of India. He is the most successful Indian badminton coach with regards to accolades. He was awarded Arjuna award by Government of India in 2001-2002 season for his outstanding sports achievements and later conferred with the Dronacharya Award in 2010 and Padma Shri – India’s fourth highest civilian award – in 2015 for his outstanding contribution to coaching. He is currently working as a chief national coach for the Indian Badminton League team, Jaypee Punjab Warriors. Gopi has won men’s singles title in national badminton championships in 1999-2000 and 2001–02. He also won the mixed doubles title in 2002-2003 partnered with V. Diju.
6. Kidambi Srikanth:
Kidambi Nandagopal (born 7 February 1991) is an Indian professional badminton player who is currently ranked World No. 21 in men’s singles by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), and is India’s topmost player. His win over legendary Lin Dan at 2015 China Open stands as one of his biggest career victories until now, becoming only the third Indian to win a Super Series Premier title after Saina Nehwal and Prakash Padukone.
7. RMV Gurusaidutt:
Rajiv Menon Raman (born 30 July 1993) is an Indian badminton player who currently plays men’s singles. He trained at the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. He was awarded Arjuna award by Government of India on 29 August 2011.
8. HS Prannoy
HS Prannoy (born 7 September 1991) is an Indian badminton player who currently plays men’s singles. He trained at the Ramanathan Academy in Chennai before joining Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad under Pullela Gopichand. Prannoy won his first Grand Prix Gold title, when he defeated Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia at the 2016 Indonesia Open. Prannoy has emerged champion in the 2018 India Open Grand Prix beating Lee Hyun-il of South Korea in straight sets.
9. PV Sindhu:
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (born 5 July 1995) is an Indian badminton player who currently plays women’s singles. She trained at the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, Telangana. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sindhu became the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic silver medal. As of March 2018, she is ranked World No. 10 in women’s singles by BWF.
10. Sai Praneeth:
Praneeth Reddy (born 13 April 1990) is an Indian badminton player who currently plays men’s singles. His coach is Pullela Gopichand and he has been playing with him since the beginning of his career. He won back to back titles in Malaysia and Singapore. He won the men’s singles title at the 2017 India Open Grand prix Gold, beating compatriot Kidambi Srikanth.
11. Ashwini Ponnappa:
Ashwini Ponnappa (born 14 November 1989) is an Indian badminton player who currently plays women’s doubles. She was a former national champion in both the categories. She is the only player to have won five times at the Indian National Badminton Championships. Her biggest achievement was a silver medal at 2014 Commonwealth Games where she partnered with Jwala Gutta. In 2016, she became the first ever badminton Olympian from India to win a medal at the Olympics, when she won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
12. Jwala Gutta:
Jwala Gutta (born 14 July 1983) is an Indian former international badminton player and current head coach of the Indian national badminton team. She is known for her quick attacks and feints, and has received wide recognition for her athletic strides at the net. She has won multiple international women’s doubles titles including two gold medals at Commonwealth Games, one each in 2010 Delhi and 2014 Glasgow partnered with Ashwini Ponnappa.