Badminton Player Nandu Natekar Passes Away

He is credited with being the first badminton player to win a title outside India, in addition to being an Arjuna Award winner.

Badminton Player Nandu Natekar Passes Away

Veteran Indian badminton player Nandu Natekar passed away on Wednesday. The 88-year-old breathed his last in Pune. He is credited to be the first to make India an international champion in badminton and won the Arjuna Award in 1961.

He was the first badminton player to win a title outside India. In his 15-year career, he has won over 100 events. These include 17 national championships. He has represented India in six singles, six doubles and five mix double events.

Born in Sangli, he first represented the country in 1953 at the age of 20. In the following year, 1954, he reached the quarter-finals of the All England Badminton Championships. Representing the Indian team, he had a stellar performance in the Thomas Cup. He won 12 out of 16 singles and 8 out of 16 double matches between 1951 and 1963. Additionally, he led India in the tournament in 1959, 1961 and 1963. He also represented India in the 1965 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.

He won the singles title at the Selangor International Championships in Kuala Lumpur in 1956. During this time, he was the first Indian to have won an international title in badminton. In addition to badminton, he also played tennis. He was a runner-up at the Junior Tennis Championship in 1951-52.

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