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Top 20 Badminton Players in India

Top Badminton Players in India

Top 20

Top 20 Badminton Players in India

Badminton is quite a popular sport in India and there are Indians who have made a successful career in this sport. These legends are widely known for their skill and performance at tournaments which are held both at national and international level. In this blog, we explore the top 20 badminton players in India, who have exhibited unparalleled skill and determination on the court.

Badminton Sport in India

In India, badminton is one of the most well liked sports with a long history and famous tradition. Indian badminton players are among the best in the world for their lightning-fast smashes, smooth net shots, and amazing footwork. It is not a simple task to choose the top 20 players in a talented nation. However, some names stick out because of their accomplishments, popularity, and influence on Indian sports. Idols in the men division including Prakash Padukone, Pullela Gopichand and the legendary P V Sindhu have dominated tournaments globally by showcasing their extraordinary talent and quickness. Before founding the Gopichand Badminton Academy to train the upcoming generation of champions Gopichand assumed the mantle and won the same title in 2001.

India has become a badminton powerhouse thanks to this wealth of talent. The nation has benefited much from the skill, accomplishments and constant commitment of the top 20 players who have left their mark. Generations after them have been motivated to take up the sport and aim for the same heights as they have their achievement. In this blog we are going to discuss about Top 20 Badminton Players in India.

Related Blog: Top 20 Hockey Players in India 

Let us take a look at some of India’s legendary badminton players who have made a name for themselves in this sport.

20 Famous Men’s and Women’s Badminton Players of India

Here are twenty famous men’s and women’s badminton players from India listed in alphabetical order.

1. Anup Sridhar

Anup Sridhar Badminton Player

Anup Sridhar is one of the best Indian Badminton players. He is also famed as the Indian Badminton team’s captain, especially in the Thomas Cup tournament. He started playing badminton at a young age and achieved his first victory in the Canara Bank tournament which was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

His first major success came during the International Badminton arena and at the 30th Hungarian International tournament, which was held in the year 2005. He won a Bronze medal when he was a team member in the Indian Badminton team at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Sridhar managed to reach the second round.

He was honoured with the Eklavya Award (2004), Arjuna Award (2007) and the Young Achievers Award (2008).

2. Aparna Popat

Aparna Popat Badminton Player

Aparna Popat is one of the best female badminton players from India. She holds the record of achieving the National Senior level Women’s badminton title and at various International Badminton Championships.

Aparna Popat won the World Junior Championship as runner-up in 1996 and the National Women’s title for eight consecutive years (1996 to 2003). In 1998, she won a Silver medal at the Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur and the Women’s Singles at the French Open. She also received the Arjuna Award in 2005.

3. Ashwini Ponnappa

Ashwini Ponnappa Badminton Player

Ashwini Ponnappa is one of the top Badminton players in the Women’s Doubles category. The partnership between Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta had won many international titles including gold in Commonwealth Games and bronze in Uber Cup and Asian Badminton Championship. Ponnappa is a 2-time Commonwealth Games and a 4-time South Asian Games champion. She is also a former World Championship bronze winner.

In 2011, Ashwini Ponnappa partnering with Jwala Gutta became the first Indian pair and women to win a medal at the BWF World Championships, which was also one of their finest performances in the history of Badminton.

4. B. Sai Praneeth

B. Sai Praneeth Badminton Player

B. Sai Praneeth is an Indian badminton player who won a bronze medal in the BWF World Championships in 2019, second to Prakash Padukone. Sai Praneeth has won several championships including the Djarum Indonesia Open in 2013, All England Super Series Premier in 2016, winning a maiden Grand Prix title at the Canada Open Grand Prix in 2016, Singapore Open Super Series in 2017 and BWF World Championships in 2019, respectively.

The Arjuna Award winner is also a former South Asian Games champion and a former world number 10 in men’s singles category. He currently trains at the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, Telangana.

5. Chetan Anand

Chetan Anand Badminton Player

Chetan Anand is one of the best Indian badminton players winning several tournaments throughout his career. Anand’s father, Mr. Harshavardhan was a badminton player himself. Anand is a 4-time National Champion but also has been a world number 10 in men’s singles in the past. He is also a 6-time South Asian Games gold medallist. He won the Men’s Singles titles at both the Bitburger Open Grand Prix and Yonex Czech International tournaments in 2008.

Chetan Anand served as the head coach at the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for some time. He was honoured with Arjuna Award in 2006.

6. Jiya Rawat

jiya rawat Image

Indian badminton star Jiya Rawat is an inspiration to watch as she rises to popularity on the global scene. When she picked up a badminton racquet for the first time at the age of six she fell in love with the sport’s complexity and speed. Jiya began participating in and winning local and regional competitions in her native state of Haryana at the age of twelve. At the 2019 South Asian Junior Badminton Championships she won a gold medal marking the highest point of her junior career.

Jiya’s victory qualified her for senior international competition. Reaching the 2020 India Open quarterfinals Jiya showed she belongs on the big stage, even against elite opponents. She won the Maldives International Challenge later that year earning her first senior international title. It’s amazing to watch Jiya climb the badminton rankings so quickly at such a young age. She has a great chance of becoming India’s next big badminton star competing on a level with P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. As of right now Jiya appears to have a very bright future.

7. Manasi Girishchandra Joshi

Manasi Girishchandra Joshi Badminton Player

Manasi Girishchandra Joshi is a former Indian para-badminton player who became a para-badminton world champion in women’s singles category. She is also a BWF Para-Badminton World Championship gold medallist. In 2020, she was ranked world no. 2 in women’s singles category and ranked no. 1 in women’s singes category in 2022.

She became the first Indian athlete to make it to the Asia cover of TIME magazine, where she was listed as the Next Generation Leader 2020.

8. Nandu Natekar

Nandu Natekar Badminton Player

Nandu Natekar was a skilled striker in badminton and one of the best national badminton champions from India. He won the Men’s Double National Championship six consecutive times. He also achieved a National level award for Men’s Single championship and 5 times National level championship for Mixed Doubles.

Nandu Natekar is the first Indian badminton player to achieve various international and national awards under his name. He was awarded with the Arjuna Award in 1961, Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 and Sahyadri Navratna Puraskar in 2002. He was also honoured with the Most Popular Indian Sportsperson in 1961 and IBF Meritorious Service Award in 1989.

After retiring from badminton, Natekar founded the Natekar Sports and Fitness Academy where youths come to learn and practice badminton.

9. P. V. Sindhu

P. V. Sindhu Badminton Player

P. V. Sindhu is a professional Indian badminton player who is named for achieving a Silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is the youngest and the first Indian woman to achieve this record. She is also the first Indian woman to achieve the Badminton World Championships in 2013 and was awarded another bronze medal the following year.

She took coaching from Pullela Gopichand, a legendary Indian badminton player. Sindhu has achieved numerous medals for India, including many awards like the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

10. P. V. V. Lakshmi

P. V. V. Lakshmi Badminton Player

P. V. V. Lakshmi is a former Indian badminton player and an 8-time National Badminton Champion. She is also a Commonwealth Games bronze winner and a former Olympian.

She is the wife of legendary badminton player Pullela Gopichand and their daughter Gayathri Gopichand is also a famous badminton player and champion. After retiring from badminton, P. V. V. Lakshmi now assists her husband with his badminton academy.

11. Parupalli Kashyap

Parupalli Kashyap Badminton Player

Parupalli Kashyap made his name through the 2012 Men’s Singles at the London Olympics where he became the only Indian male player at the time to reach quarter-finals. He has been an iconic player for the Indian Badminton League, where he played for Banga Beats. In 2018 he won the Austrian Open. He also won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2012, for his eminent contribution towards the sport.

12. Prakash Padukone

Prakash Padukone Badminton Player

Prakash Padukone is a legendary badminton player from India. He started playing for domestic Indian badminton at junior and senior level and won the titles.

Padukone also made his mark internationally by winning the men’s singles gold at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Two years later, he took home the All England Open crown, one of the most prestigious tournaments in badminton, in 1980 by beating Indonesian legend Liem Swie King in the final.

The Indian badminton legend was also one of the first sportspersons to open up an academy called the ‘Prakash Padukone Centre of Excellence’. The academy provides high-class facilities which makes it one of the sought-after destinations to learn badminton in India.

13. Pramod Bhagat

Pramod Bhagat Badminton Player

Pramod Bhagat is an Indian para-badminton player and Paralympic gold medallist. He is also a 5-time World Champion and a former world no. 1 in men’s singles SL3 category. In addition to winning numerous championships in both men’s singles and men’s doubles categories, he won a gold medal in men’s singles at the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Bhagat was 15 when he played his first tournament against normal players.

Pramod Bhagat was honoured with the Arjuna Award, the Khel Ratna, and the Padma Shri awards.

14. Pullela Gopichand

Pullela Gopichand Badminton Player

Pullela Gopichand is among the top legends of Indian badminton. He won his first national title in badminton in the year 1996 and went on to win the next four titles in a row. His performance in international competition won his team a silver medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and bronze medal in the singles, and another bronze at the 2000 Asian Cup championships. He is also the winner of the All England Open crown in 2001.

Pullela Gopichand took up badminton training at the Prakash Padukone Centre for Excellence, a widely recognised badminton coaching centre opened by India’s legendary badminton player, Prakash Padukone. Today, Gopichand runs his own badminton academy called ‘Pullela Gopichand Academy’ in Hyderabad (Telangana).

15. Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal Badminton Player

Saina Nehwal is one of the best Indian women’s badminton players who has won many championships throughout her career. Prior to entering in the sport, she began training with the best coaches. She won the U-19 National championships and then started to achieve the major events with her professional circuit. She also won the 2006 Philippines Open Tournament under junior level and the 2009 Indonesia Open Series.

Nehwal became the first Indian player to win the BWF Super Series and was awarded a Gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Her unforgettable bronze medal achievement at the 2012 London Olympics is the best achievement in her career. She is India’s leading sportsperson who was awarded with the Arjuna Award (2009), Padma Shri (2010) and Padma Bushan (2016) by the Government of India.

16. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy Badminton Player

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is a young Indian badminton player who is best known for his match-winning partnership with fellow badminton player Chirag Shetty. Rankireddy is the son of a state-level badminton player and took training lessons at the Pullela Gopichand’s academy.

He has won a Thomas Cup and two Commonwealth Games gold medals.

17. Sonu Anand Sharma

Sonu Anand Sharma Badminton Player

Sonu Anand Sharma is a former Indian Deaf badminton player and a Deaflympics Gold Medal winner at the 1997 Deaflympics. Deaflympics is a periodic series of multi-sport events sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee at which Deaf athletes (athletes cannot be guided by sounds) compete at an elite level.

Sonu Anand Sharma became the first deaf woman to be honoured with the Nari Shakti Award. After retiring from badminton, she went on to coach youths in playing badminton. She has also headed the Deaf Sports Association of Delhi as its Sports Director.

18. Srikanth Kidambi

Srikanth Kidambi Badminton Player

Srikanth Kidambi is a popular Indian badminton player and a sportsperson winning titles in numerous badminton championships.

Srikanth won his first national title in 2013, in a match against senior pro Parupalli Kashyap in the finals. He went on to become the first male Indian badminton player to win the BWF Super Series title with the 2014 China Open crown against Olympic champion Lin Dan in the finals. He also won record four Super Series titles in 2017 and rose to become the world’s leading sportsperson in 2018.

In 2021, he went on to become the first Indian to win a silver medal at the badminton world championships. He was also a member of the historic Thomas Cup-winning Indian badminton team in 2022.

19. Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj

Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj Badminton Player

Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj is not just a Paralympic Games silver medallist but is also an IAS officer of 2007 batch of Uttar Pradesh. He is the first-ever to win a silver medal at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, and the world’s number 2 in Men’s Singles. He has also won an Asian Para Games bronze medal.

He became National Champion after winning gold medal in Men’s Singles category at second National Para Badminton Championships held at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) in 2018. The Paralympic badminton champion was honoured with the Arjuna Award.

20. Syed Modi

Syed Modi Badminton Player

Syed Modi (actual surname is Mehdi) was one of the best badminton players from India during the 1980s. He achieved the National Badminton Championship Title consecutively for eight years i.e., from 1980 to 1987.

He also achieved the Gold Medal during the Commonwealth Games held in 1982 in Australia and won another two Gold Medals in 1983 and 1984, respectively, for the Australian International tournament. He had won Bronze Medal for Asian Games in 1982 in Delhi. In 1981, Syed Modi was honoured with Arjuna Award. Unfortunately, he was shot dead in 1988 at the K. D. Singh Babu Stadium in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) after leaving from practice.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion the top 20 badminton players in India have greatly impacted the sport in their nation. Leading the charge and becoming the first Indian women to win badminton medals at the Olympics are Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. A new generation of players such as Lakshya Sen who took home a bronze medal in the 2021 World Championships have been influenced by them. Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand two of the first Indian players to win the All England Open set the path in the past. Champions like Sindhu were later developed by their coaching academies. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa both experts in doubles have also excelled greatly winning a historic bronze in the 2011 World Championships. Indian badminton has never been deeper and rising stars like Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are only two examples. Indian badminton looks to have a very bright future. In the coming years more Indian players are expected to reach the highest peaks of the sport with improved coaching and training facilities. The top 20 players have all helped India become a dominant force in badminton.

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