18
Saturday
September 2021
4:05 AM IST
News Headlines
Sachin stuns World Championships medallist Gaurav Bidhuri        Sensex, Nifty snap winning streak, end in red        Rahul attacks BJP govt over unemployment issue        International community must think carefully, consult before giving acceptance to new Kabul regime: PM Modi        Kerala to allot 36.84 acres land to TCS, aims to create 10,000 jobs        GST Council relief for Covid drugs, plan to include petrol, diesel in GST net off the table        Vishal Bhardwaj, Netflix come together for their upcoming spy thriller Khufiya        Kohli to step down as T20I captain after T20 WC, will continue as ODI & Test skipper        Bringing diesel, petrol in GST may be discussed in Council meeting, also on agenda is taxing Swiggy, Zomato        Australia, UK, US announce new partnership 'AUKUS'; to help Canberra acquire nuclear-powered subs        Six states including UP, Delhi and Haryana report dengue outbreak: Govt        PDP leader Poonthura Siraj passes away        Delhi-Katra road journey to be reduced to 6 hours: Gadkari        HC grants anticipatory bail to Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan        IPL 2021: Spectators to be allowed in 'reduced capacity' as league resumes in UAE        PepsiCo set up food plant in Mathura        Female footballers from Afghanistan flee to Pakistan to escape Taliban        Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi courts controversy        Defence Minister invites US companies to invest in India        Right time for ‘take off’ on CIS- India relationship: Jyotiraditya Scindia        
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | Health   | About Deepika 
Sports News
True legend of Indian badminton: tributes pour in after legendary Nandu Natekar dies
 
New Delhi, Jul 28 (PTI) An inspiration to many stalwarts of Indian badminton, the legendary Nandu Natekar's death on Wednesday was mourned by his fraternity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paying homage to his outstanding sporting legacy.

Natekar, who played a bit of cricket and tennis at the national level before becoming an international shuttler, died in Pune on Wednesday.

The 88-year-old, who won over 100 national and international titles in his career and was the first badminton player to be awarded the Arjuna (1961), was battling age-related ailments.

Condoling the death of Natekar, Modi said his achievements will continue to motivate budding players.

"Shri Nandu Natekar has a special place in India's sporting history. He was an outstanding badminton player and a great mentor," Modi tweeted.

"His success continues to motivate budding athletes. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour. Om Shanti," the prime minister said.

Natekar, who was considered one of the most popular sportspersons of his time, was also a former world number three.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur described Natekar as "an exceptional badminton player."

"In 1961 he was conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award. A generation of athletes have drawn inspiration from him. Sincere condolences to his family & friends," Thakur tweeted.

Chief badminton national coach Pullela Gopichand described Natekar as a "true legend" of the game while Vimal Kumar credited him for his initiation to the sport.

"For us, he is a true legend in Indian badminton. He is someone who is well-respected and we have heard stories about him. He not only played badminton but tennis at the highest level.

"He belonged to that era, where he, along with Suresh Goel, Dinesh Khanna and Prakash Padukone, were up there," Gopichand, India's chief national coach, told PTI.

It was tennis' loss but badminton's gain as Natekar could have continued with the former had he not lost the 1951-52 National junior final to Ramanathan Krishnan.

"He was soft (spoken) person and a great gentleman. He was affectionate and always had keen interest in present day badminton. He had such precision and understanding of angles, he was an athlete because he could adapt to tennis and badminton," Gopichand said.

"He had such beautiful hands, skills and also his movement."

Former India coach Vimal Kumar said his father was a big fan of Natekar and that's how he got into the sport.

"My father was a big fan of him and in fact it was after he saw him during a national event at (then) Trivandrum that he put up an outside court at our house and that's how I got initiated into badminton," he said.

"I could only see him play when he won the veteran All England in the 1980s. He was as popular as the cricketers in the 50s and people used to line up to watch him play."

Abdul Shaikh, who played with Natekar in the Maharashtra team before shifting to Canada in 1967, also had a lot of good memories.

"I am very sorry to hear this news. He was one of the most stylish and graceful international players I have seen in my life," Shaikh, who went on to coach the Canada badminton team, told PTI from Vancouver.

"I had partnered him in India Open in the 1960s. We had lost to Malaysia in the finals. He was someone who actually picked up his superb backhand from Wong Peng Soon of Malaysia. He was such a superb stroke player and had beautiful footwork."

Natekar was also a good singer, according to Shaikh.

"We used to travel in trains for international and inter-state events and he used to be a good singer. We used to play antakshri," he laughed, remembering the old days.

Former India shuttler and doubles specialist Uday Pawar also reacted with sadness at the news.

"It is a sad day. He was reputed to have the best back-hand in the world and it is sad we could not have any of his video films to watch, to know really how great he was," Pawar said.

"He was the best player Maharashtra has produced in badminton."

Dipankar Bhattacharajee, who represented India in 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics, described him as a "Godfather of Indian badminton".

"...I think even Prakash Sir used to draw inspiration from Nandu Natekar Sir. So, I mean, what you can say, he is the Godfather of Indian badminton," he said.

"I didn't see him play but the greatest moment of my life came when in one of the national ranking tournaments in Pune, Natekar Sir was the chief guest and he gave me the first prize, so that is one memorable moment for me."

Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma also offered condolences.

"One of the towering icons of Indian badminton, Nandu Natekar leaves behind a rich legacy, that we shall cherish forever. 6-time national champion & first Indian to win an international title in 1956, Natekar shall be remembered fondly for his drives, drops & smashes. Condolences," Sarma said.

In his distinguished career, Natekar made it to the quarterfinals of the prestigious All England Championships in 1954 and became the first Indian player to win an international event when he claimed the Sellanger International title in Malaysia in 1956.

He won 12 of the 16 singles matches and eight of the 16 doubles games he played as part of the Indian team at the Thomas Cup between 1951 and 1963.

He also had the distinction of leading the country in the tournament in 1959, 1961 and 1963, besides representing India at the 1965 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.


Sachin stuns World Championships medallist Gaurav Bidhuri
Kohli to step down as T20I captain after T20 WC, will continue as ODI & Test skipper
IPL 2021: Spectators to be allowed in 'reduced capacity' as league resumes in UAE
Lasith Malinga retires from all forms of cricket
McCullum seeks braver style of play from KKR to make it count in IPL phase 2
Hero Indian Super League to Feature in EA SPORTS™ FIFA 22
Boxers accuse J&K Boxing Assn of being 'selective' in trials
Want to see Rajasthan Royals dominate matches, says Kumar Sangakkara
S Africa announce T20 WC squad; Morris, du Plessis miss out
Ollie Pope, Shardul Thakur make gains in ICC Test Player Rankings
India announce squad for ICC T20 WC, Ashwin returns; Chahal misses out
4th Test: Ruthless India crush England by 157 runs, take 2-1 series lead
Punjab releases Rs 3 cr for upgradation of sports infrastructure of 116 schools
Tokyo Paralympics: Krishna secures gold, Suhas clinches silver in badminton
Tokyo Paralympics: Krishna secures gold, Suhas clinches silver in badminton
Djokovic lets emotions show at US Open as Grand Slam nears
4th Test, Day 3: Rohit’s century helps India take a 171 runs lead against England
Legend at 19: Lekhara becomes first Indian woman to win 2 Paralympic medals
Italy held to draw, Spain loses in World Cup qualifying
4th Test, Day 1 : England 53/3 at stumps, trail India by 138 runs
KERALA NEWS
Kerala to allot 36.84 acres land to TCS, aims to create 10,000 jobs
 Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala government will allot 36.84 acres of land to Tata Consultancy Services (T  
PDP leader Poonthura Siraj passes away
Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi courts controversy
'Stronger Academia-Industry collaboration needed in space sector'
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
International community must think carefully, consult before giving acceptance to new Kabul regime: PM Modi
 Dushanbe/New Delhi, The global community must think carefully and hold consultations with each other
Australia, UK, US announce new partnership 'AUKUS'; to help Canberra acquire nuclear-powered subs
Female footballers from Afghanistan flee to Pakistan to escape Taliban
Pakistan harboured Taliban, Haqqanis, has interests in Afghanistan in clear conflict with America's: Blinken
NATIONAL NEWS
Rahul attacks BJP govt over unemployment issue
 New Delhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday took a dig at the BJP-led government in the Centre
Six states including UP, Delhi and Haryana report dengue outbreak: Govt
Right time for ‘take off’ on CIS- India relationship: Jyotiraditya Scindia
Cong attacks Yogi govt on year of Hathras incident
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2021 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.