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The rise of Shuttlers and The Shuttle

Success always has a positive impact and after 2012 Olympics it just galvanized badminton as a sport in India.

Last updated: 17.05.2018

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India predominantly is a cricket crazy nation. Cricket here is a religion. But if we notice, since Saina Nehwal won the bronze in women’s singles at London Olympics, 2012 badminton started gaining popularity in India. Parents now encourage their children to take badminton as a career option. It is safe to say that badminton is the second most popular game in India after cricket. Success always has a positive impact and after 2012 Olympics it just galvanized badminton as a sport in India. Likes of Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand won the All England Open in 1980 and 2001 respectively. But those were few and far in between. India never had a pool of top players playing together. We always had the talent but not the infrastructure.

That is where certain Pullela Gopichand has made the difference. A talented player of his time, who has the desire and vision to make India as one of the superpowers in badminton. With that idea he started his academy in his hometown Hyderabad to train budding young boys and girls so that they could become world class players in future and rest, as they say, is history. Under his guidance and watchful eye likes of Saina Nehwal, P Kashyap, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikant, HS Pronoy, started to hone their skills and learned the art of badminton at a very young age.


Saina Nehwal and her mentor Gopichand are often credited for increasing the popularity of badminton in India. Former world No. 1 Saina won several titles for India along with many Super Series titles. She is the only singles player to have won the gold in commonwealth games 2010 and 2018 respectively. She is the first female superstar of Indian badminton.

Following her footstep was another young girl from Gopichand’s academy, tall and lanky PV Sindhu. Sindhu considers Saina as her idol and has done India proud on many occasions. Like Saina, Sindhu also went on to win the Olympic medal in Rio De Janeiro, 2016. In fact, Sindhu went one step further and bagged silver after losing to Carolina Marine in the finals of women’s singles and became the youngest player to win an Olympic medal for India.

It would be unfair if the contribution of Kidambi Srikant is not mentioned. He is Mr. Consistent when it comes to representing India in men’s singles. He recently became world No. 1 by defeating Li Chong Wei in the Commonwealth games 2018 mixed team event final. A few years back Srikant did surprise every when he defeated mighty Lin Dan to clinch the China Masters. Since then he has come a long way and has become one of the best players in the world.

Today with all the success badminton is one of the most popular sports in India. Everyone is quite familiar with the badminton players. Likes of Saina, Sindhu, Srikant are households names now. Premiere Badminton League(PBL) has given the sport the much needed financial boost. Top players around the world taking part in PBL makes it one of the most watched Badminton leagues in the world. All the top companies are willing to invest in the game which is a terrific thing for the players and all the officials who are involved in the development of Indian badminton. The Badminton Association of Indian(BAI) has done a fantastic job by spreading the game to the grassroots level by increasing its popularity.

India is a force to reckon with in badminton along with China and its other Asian counterparts.

Indian badminton is on a high and with time its popularity is only going to increase. Future of Indian Badminton is quite bright. It will unearth lots of young talent in future.

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