Friday, April 8, 2011

Prakash Padukone

Prakash Padukone is one of the most famous legendary badminton players from India, who at the peak of his badminton career was one of the best badminton players in the world. He was born on 10-Jun-1955 at Bangalore in Karnataka, India.

Prakash Padukone - Significant achievements:

National badminton champion of India from 1972 to 1979.
Winner of several major international titles.
One of the best badminton players of his time.

Padukone was the first Indian to win the prestigious All-England Open badminton tournament in the year. The only other Indian to have ever achieved this feat has been Pullela Gopichand.

Prakash Padukone along with World champion cueist Geet Sethi of India, co-founded the Olympic Gold Quest Foundation for the Promotion of Sports in India, and for India's future success in the Olympics.

Badminton career:
Prakash Padukone's father Ramesh Padukone, was the Secretary of the Mysore Badminton Association for many years, and it was he who initiated Prakash into the game at a very small age. Prakash started playing at the junior level for his state Karnataka and won the state junior title in 1964, at the age of 9.

He made his mark on the National level when he won the Indian national junior title in the year 1972. Not only the juniors, Padukone also won the senior National title the same year. Then for the next 7 years, from 1972 to 1979, Prakash Padukone ruled as the National badminton champion of India, winning the championship every single year.

Prakash Padukone won his first major international title in 1978, when he won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada, in the men's singles event. Then in the year 1979, he won the Evening of Champions tourney at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

In the year 1980, Prakash Padukone was at the peak of his career, as he went on to win the Danish Open, the Swedish Open, and most notably the All-England Open which is considered to be akin to the Wimbledon of badminton.

Padukone spent a lot of his time training in Denmark, the European powerhouse of badminton, which had in its ranks another legendary player of the time, Morten Frost, with whom Prakash developed close friendship.

After a notable badminton career, Prakash Padukone finally retired in 1991, he was the chairman of the Badminton Association of India for some time. He also coached the Indian national badminton team in 1993 and 1996.

Prakash Padukone - family:

Prakash lives at Bangalore in Karnataka with his wife Ujjala and has two daughters, Deepika and Anisha. He runs the Prakash Padukone badminton academy at Bangalore which has centres in other parts of the country also.

His daughter Deepika Padukone is now one of India's most famous film actresses and his other daughter Anisha Padukone aims to become a golfer.

Prakash Padukone - awards:

Prakash Padukone was awarded with the prestigious Arjuna award for sporting excellence in the year 1972, and with the Padma Shri award in the year 1982 for his achievements.

Prakash Padukone - auto-biography:
Padukone's biography titled 'Touchplay' penned by Dev Sukumar, was released in the year 2006.

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