Badminton legend Nandu Natekar hails ‘golden generation’ of Indian playersMay 13, 2018
Hailing the consistently top notch show by the current lot of Indian shuttlers, badminton legend Nandu Natekar endorsed another great Prakash Padukone’s oft-held view that the racquet sport is going through a golden era in the country.
“Very true, that it’s the golden era of the Indian badminton. It’s so pleasing to see the names of the Indian girls in focus, and even the men, instead of Chinese, Thais and Malaysians (as was the case in the past).
“It’s a tremendous achievement and they deserve all the kudos,” said the first Indian to win a badminton title overseas in 1956.
Natekar was speaking at the Legends Club felicitation function to herald his 85th birthday at the Cricket Club of India last evening.
Comparing the strong points of the two top Indian women shuttlers, 2016 Olympic silver medalist P V Sindhu and 2012 Olympic bronze winner Saina Naiwal, he said, “Sindhu uses her height to her advantage. Saina is a great fighter.”
Natekar, who made it to the quarter-finals of the then unofficial All-England Championship in 1954 in his only appearance in the prestigious tournament, described the countrys top male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth as “a class player”.
He said badminton, over the years, has “progressed by leaps and bounds in speed, commitment and fitness levels of the players”.