The Story of Prakash Padukone: The First Indian to Win the All England Badminton Championship

The name of Prakash Padukone is one that is etched in the annals of Indian sports history. He was the first Indian to win the prestigious All England Badminton Championship in 1980, and in doing so, he inspired a generation of Indian athletes to strive for excellence in their respective fields. Prakash’s story is one of hard work, determination, and a never-say-die attitude that enabled him to reach the pinnacle of his sport.

Early Life and Career

Prakash Padukone was born in Bangalore, India in 1955. His father, Ramesh, was a secretary at a local company and his mother, Ujjala, was an office clerk. Prakash’s parents were supportive of their son’s passion for badminton, and they encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

Prakash’s career in the sport began at the age of 11, when he joined the Karnataka Badminton Association. He soon developed a reputation for being an incredibly talented player, and he was selected to represent India in international tournaments.

Rise to the Top

Prakash’s rise to the top was not easy. He had to practice for hours on end, often taking out time from his studies to do so. He would often practice under the guidance of his coach, P.G. Bhat, who was known for his tough coaching style.

Prakash’s hard work paid off and he began to win tournaments in India and abroad. He won the National Championship in 1975, and the following year, he claimed the bronze medal at the World Championships in Sweden. This was followed by a gold medal at the 1977 All England Open.

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The All England Championship

Prakash’s biggest achievement came in 1980, when he won the All England Badminton Championship. He was the first Indian to win the tournament, and this victory put him in the same league as legends like Judy Devlin Hashman, who had won it in 1930.

Prakash’s win was even more remarkable considering that he had to face the world’s best players, including the defending champion, Liem Swie King from Indonesia. He beat King in three sets, winning the tournament and making history.


Prakash’s win was a major milestone for Indian sports and it inspired a generation of athletes to strive for excellence in their respective fields. He was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honours, in 1982.

Today, Prakash is the founder and chairman of the Olympic Gold Quest, an organisation that works towards identifying, training, and supporting India’s elite athletes. He is also the founder of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy and he is a member of the Badminton World Federation Hall of Fame.


Prakash Padukone is a true pioneer of Indian sports and an inspiration to athletes all over the world. He redefined what it meant to be a badminton player, and his passion for the sport is evident in his work today. His victory in the 1980 All England Badminton Championship will forever remain etched in the annals of Indian sports history.