indian badminton players

Badminton has been one of India’s most cherished sports with players showcasing remarkable skill and determination on the global stage.

Over the years, Indian badminton players have left an indelible mark on the sport, achieving remarkable success and creating a lasting legacy.

As of 2023, India boasts a proud tradition of producing world-class shuttlers who have not only won numerous titles but also inspired generations of aspiring athletes. 

So, let’s take a look at the Top  10 Indian Badminton Players:

S.noPlayer Name Year of Debut
1Nandu Natekar1956
2Parupalli Kashyap2005
3Ashwini Ponnappa2007
4Jwala Gutta2000
5Aparna Popat1992
6Srikanth Kidambi2011
7Saini Nehwal2006
8PV Sindhu2014
9Lakshya Sen2016
10Prakash Padukone1962

1. Nandu Natekar: 

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements 
Nandu Natekar19561. Recipient of the first Arjuna Award instituted in 1961.
2. Voted the most popular sportsperson in India in 1961.

Nandu Natekar is the first among the top 10 Indian badminton players to achieve success outside of the country. Nandu won over 100 international trophies for his nation throughout his 15-year professional career.

In three distinct sports, he has won 17 national championships.

Nandu was one of the most well-known players in India at the time thanks to his roving charisma. He was the inaugural winner of the Arjuna Award in 1961. He was also chosen as the year’s most well-liked athlete. 

2. Parupalli Kashyap:

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements
Parupalli Kashyap20051. Arjuna Awardee.
2. Reached the quarter-finals of men’s singles at the 2012 London Olympics. (first male player from India to do so).
3. Gold medal in men’s singles at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Despite his present injury, Parupalli Kashyap has made a tremendous contribution to the Indian badminton Player list since his debut in 2005.

The 29-year-old created Olympic history in 2012 when he became the first Indian Men’s Singles shuttler to go to the quarterfinals, where he lost to Lee Chong Wei.

After winning the bronze in the home tournament in 2010, Kashyap altered the colour of his medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The shuttler’s performance in the Olympics in Rio was eagerly anticipated, but regrettably, he was injured just before the event and is now working on his recovery.

3. Ashwini Ponnappa:

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements 
Ashwini Ponnappa20071. Silver medal in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
2. Gold Medal at the Yonex Canada Open in the Women’s Doubles category.
3. Two Gold medals at the 2016 South Asian Games and one Silver Medal in the Mixed Doubles category.

A badminton player from south India, Ashwini Ponnappa Machimanda is among the top 10 Indian badminton players. In Indian badminton, she is the doubles champion.

She has won numerous medals at international competitions in pairs with Jwala Gutta. Together, the duo has won numerous medals at international competitions, including a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

The team has also won multiple bronze medals at the Asian Badminton Championships and the Uber Cup.

When the couple became the first badminton pair from India to win a bronze medal at the BWF World Championships in 2011, they made history.

4. Jwala Gutta:

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements
Jwala Gutta20001. Arjun Awardee
2. Gold medal at CWG 2010
3. Silver medal at CWG 2014

In the doubles division of Indian badminton, Jwala Gutta was well-known. India won many medals thanks to her and Ashwini Ponnappa’s pairing, including a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

India’s badminton success story has been greatly influenced by Gutta’s contribution to the doubles sport.

5. Aparna Popat:

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements
Aparna Popat19921. Participation in 2 Olympic Games, and 1 Asian Games.
2. Silver Medal at the World Junior Championships in 1996.
3. 4 medals in 3 Commonwealth Games appearances

Between 1997 and 2006, Aparna’s senior national championship winning streak of nine straight years set a record. Former Indian badminton player Anil Pradhan worked with eight-year-old Aparna after spotting a spark in her.

She became famous as she grew up! She frequently acted as an ambassador for India. Aparna was granted an honourable place in the Global Sports Mentoring Programme.

She won the Arjuna Award in 2005 for being one of India’s most well-known badminton players. 

6. Srikanth Kidambi:

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements
Srikanth Kidambi20111. Arjun award (2015)
2. Padma Shri (2018)
3. CNN-IBN Sportsperson of the year (2018)

Among the top 10 Indian badminton players, Srikanth is presently a student at the Gopichand Badminton Academy. 

He is presently ranked 11th in the world. After the 2016 Rio Olympics, he significantly increased his exposure to the public. In the quarterfinals, he fell victim to the Super Dan 2-1, losing the third set by just three points.

He earned the silver medal in mixed doubles and the bronze medal in doubles at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games. At the 2014 India Open Grand Prix Gold competition in Lucknow, he came in second place. 

7. Saini Nehwal:

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements
Saini Nehwal20061. Arjuna Award (2009)
2. CNN-IBN Sportsperson of the Year (2009)
3. Padma Shri (2010)
4. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
5. Padma Bhushan (2016)

With a historic bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, Saina Nehwal transformed Indian badminton. It was the nation’s first Olympic medal in the sport. She is highly deserving to be in the list of top 10 Indian badminton players.

She upset people with a bold campaign in Beijing 2008 and steadily advanced in the world tournament. In 2009, Saina Nehwal won the BWF Super Series championship for the first time as an Indian, and in 2010, she won gold at the Commonwealth Games.

8. PV Sindhu: 

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements
PV Sindhu20121. Silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics
2. Padma Bhushan (2020)
3. Padma Shri Award (2015)
4. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (2016)
5. Arjuna Award (2013)

PV Sindhu made the dream that Saina Nehwal dared Indian badminton to dream come true. She is among the top 10 Indian badminton players.

PV Sindhu, a gifted young player with explosive shots, emerged into the limelight in 2012, earning the junior Asian championships title before taking home the bronze medal at the 2013 badminton world championships with an outstanding display.

Her second bronze medal at the 2014 global championships cemented her status as a competitor to watch, and PV Sindhu showed her spirit when she overcame a back injury in time to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics. It resulted in what is undoubtedly the best moment to date in her career. 

9. Lakshya Sen:

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements
Prakash Padukone20161. Gold medal at Asian Junior Championships 2018 Silver medal at Youth Olympics 2018.
2. First BWF World Tour title at Dutch Open 2019.
3. Bronze medal at BWF World Championships 2021.
4. Silver medal at All England Open 2022.
5. CWG 2022- Gold Medal
6. Arjuna Award (2022)

Lakshya Sen, in my opinion, is now India’s best singles badminton player. The most potential player from India is a 21-year-old who is now ranked ninth in the world. The young man, who was born in Almora, Uttarakhand, has displayed excellent athletic ability recently.

Sen took home a gold medal from the most recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Additionally, he was a member of the teams that won gold and silver, respectively, in the team competitions at the 2022 Thomas Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

In addition, he took home a silver medal from the Youth Olympics in 2018. No wonder he is one of the top 10 Indian badminton players.

10. Prakash Padukone:

Player Name Year of DebutAchievements
Prakash Padukone19621. Arjuna Award (1972)
2. Padma Shri

The first badminton celebrity in India, Prakash Padukone, was a trailblazer in a variety of industries. It will be unfair if he is not on the list of top 10 Indian badminton players.

After making waves in the Indian badminton scene by winning the junior and senior national titles in the same year, Prakash Padukone made his name known internationally by capturing the men’s singles gold at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

Two years later, in 1980, Padukone won the All England Open, one of tennis’s most famous events, by defeating Indonesian icon Liem Swie King in the championship match.

Also, check out 11 best female badminton players in India

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