Prakash Padukone, who turns 67 (born on 10 June, 1955), is a former Indian badminton player. He was ranked World No.1 in 1980, which is the same year he became the first Indian to win the All England Open Badminton Championships.
Here are a few interesting facts about one of the best badminton players of all time:
1. Prakash Padukone was born in Bangalore, Karnataka.
2. Prakash Padukone's father Ramesh was a secretary of the Mysore Badminton Association. It was his father who initiated him into the game.
3. Padukone's first official tournament was the Karnataka state junior championship in 1962. He lost in the very first round but two years later he managed to win the state junior title.
4. He changed his playing style into a more aggressive style in 1971 and won the Indian National junior title in 1972. In this same year, he also won the senior title.
5. Padukone won the National title consecutively for the next seven years.
6. In 1978, he won his first major international title, the men's singles gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada.
7. In 1980, he won the Danish Open, the Swedish Open and became the first Indian to win the men's singles title at the All England Championship with a victory over Indonesian rival Liem Swie King.
8. Padukone spent much of his international career training in Denmark and developed close friendships with European players such as Morten Frost.
9. Padukone married Ujjala as arranged by their parents in the Indian Hindu system. Together, they have two daughters- famous actress Deepika Padukone and Anisha Padukone.
10. Prakash Padukone was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1972 and the Padma Shri in 1982 by the Government of India.