Check Out the Journey of Badminton Legend Nandu M. Natekar

3 minute read

Being India’s first badminton global star, Nandu Natekar was a notable name among badminton enthusiasts. He was born on the 12th of May 1933 and was known for winning the international title in 1956.  The “Stroke Master” was the recipient of more than 100 national awards and an inspiration to many sports enthusiasts. To honour his demise on 28th July 2021, let’s read about his life and journey to being one of the most popular sportsmen of his time- Nandu Natekar.

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Early Life of Nandu M. Natekar

Nandu Natekar was born on 12th of May 1933 in Sangli. During his youth, he was equally interested in both Tennis and Badminton. However, with time he raised his calling for badminton and left tennis. His first game for India was in 1953 at the age of 20. He completed his graduation from Ramnarain Ruia College in Mumbai. 

Courtesy: Alchetron

He also entered the quarterfinals of the coveted All England Championships in 1954 when he was just 21. Nandu M. Natekar has participated in a number of matches, of which he won 12 out of the 16 singles matches and 8 out of 16 in doubles as part of the Indian team at the Thomas Cup held between 1951 and 1963. He also led the country in the tournament in 1959, 1961 and 1963.

“His game was poetry in motion. Its unfortunate that we don’t have any visuals of his fluent stroke execution for posterity.”

– Dinesh Khanna reminiscing about Natekar’s natural talent.


Courtesy: The Hindu Images

Nandu M. Natekar’s achievements in life were plenty and he started achieving big from a very young age. Here’s a list of all of his major achievements through the tenure of his journey as a badminton player.

  • Nandu M. Natekar was the recipient of the first Arjuna Award instituted in 1961.
  • He represented India at the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica in 1965
  • Won National level Men’s Singles and Doubles Championship, as well as Mixed Doubles, multiple times in India.
  • Singles Champion in the Selangor International Tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 1956 which was also the first international victory by an Indian badminton player
  • Nandu M. Natekar was voted the most popular sportsperson of India in 1961.
  • Natekar and Meena Shah won the Mixed Doubles title at Bangkok’s King’s Cup International Tournament in 1962. 
  • Nandu M. Natekar also won the Men’s Singles title at Bangkok’s King’s Cup International Tournament in 1963.
  • He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Petroleum Sports Control Board of India in January 2001.
Youtube: The Bridge

Nandu Natekar’s titles and awards can be attributed to his sheer determination and perseverance. However, with time he started suffering from certain ageing ailments that took his life at the age of 88 on the 28th of July, 2021. His journey has left behind a legacy for others to get influenced by. Hope you found this blog insightful. For more such content, stay connected with Leverage Edu! For any career-related guidance, sign up for a free session with us now!

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