One of India’s finest sporting personalities: Nandu Natekar

One of India’s finest sporting personalities: Nandu Natekar

Born on 12th May 1933 in Sangli, Maharashtra, Nandu M. Natekar was the first Indian badminton player to win a badminton tournament abroad in 1956.

In a career that spans over a decade and a half, Nandu Natekar won as many as 100 titles. He won a record 6 single national championships, 6 men’s doubles national champions, and 5 mixed championships.

Some of his main achievements are:

  • First Indian to reach the last 8 at the All England Championships in 1954.
  • First Indian to win men’s singles champion at the Selangor International Tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 1956.
  • He was the first recipient of the Arjuna Award that was instituted in 1961.
  • Also, voted as the most popular sportsperson of India in 1961.
  • Nandu Natekar in 1962 teamed up with Meena Shaw and won the King’s Cup International mixed doubles tournament. The following year he also won the men’s singles title at the same event.
  • Received “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Petroleum Sports Control Board of India in January 2001.

The 88-year-old legendary badminton player breathed his last on 28th July 2021. He is survived by his son Gaurav Natekar, a former national tennis player, and two daughters.

The Natekar family was quoted saying “With the deepest sorrow, we would like to inform you that our beloved father Nandu Natekar passed away on 28th July 2021 due to age-related ailments”.

Messages from all quarters of the country poured in on the passing of this great man.