Nandu Natekar, Indian badminton legend, passes away at 88

Nandu Natekar won the men’s singles championship in the Selangor International Tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 1956. Natekar’s victory was also the first international victory by an Indian Badminton player.

Created On: Jul 28, 2021 14:41 IST
Nandu Natekar
Nandu Natekar

Legendary badminton player of India, Nandu Natekar passed away on July 28, 2021, at the age of 88. He was the first Indian to win an International Title in 1956.

The former World No. 3 is survived by his son Gaurav and three daughters. His son informed that he passed away peacefully at home and that family was with him and that he was ailing for the past three months.

In a message, the Natekar family said “With the deepest sorrow, e would like to inform you that our beloved father Nandu Natekar passed away on July 28, 2021. Keeping in mind the COVID-19 guidelines, we will not be having a condolence meeting. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”

Prime Minister Modi, via Twitter, also extended his condolences to the demise of badminton legend. The tweet mentioned that Natekar was an outstanding badminton player and a great mentor and that his success continues to motivate the budding athletes.

The Badminton Association of India, in a tweet, condoled the demise of the legendary player Nandu Natekar. A man of many firsts, the father of Indian badminton, your journey will continue to inspire generations to come.

Nandu Natekar: Achievements of former World No. 3

In a career spanning 15 years, Nandu Natekar won over 100 National and International titles for India.

Nandu Natekar, in his famed career, had made it to the quarter-finals of the prestigious All England Championships in 1954.

He won the men’s singles championship in the Selangor International Tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 1956. Natekar’s victory was also the first international victory by an Indian Badminton player.

Nandu Natekar won the Men’s Double National Championship a total of 6 times, the Men’s Singles Championship a total of 6 times, and the Mixed Doubles National Championship a total of 5 times.

Nandu Natekar recorded 12 wins out of 16 singles matches and 8 out of 16 in Doubles as part of the Indian Team at the Thomas Cup between 1951 and 1963.

He also had the distinction of leading India in the tournament in 1959, 1961, and 1963.

Natekar had also represented India at the 1956 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.

Recipient of first Arjuna Award:

Nandu Natekar was the recipient of the first Arjuna Award which was instituted in 1961 for outstanding performance in sports and games.

He was also voted the most popular sportsperson of India in 1961.

Nandu Natekar: Personal Life

Nandu Natekar was born in Sangli in Western Maharashtra on May 12, 1933. He was an alumnus of Ramnarain  Ruia College in Mumbai.

Natekar is survived by a son and three daughters. His son, Gaurav Natekar, is also a seven-time Indian National Champion in Tennis.

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