Veteran badminton player Nandu Natekar passed away on Wednesday. The former World No. three was the first Indian badminton player ever to win an international title in 1956.
The 88-year-old, who won more than 100 national and international titles in his career, was suffering from age-related ailments. He is survived by son Gaurav, a seven time Indian national champion in Tennis, and two daughters.
“He passed away peacefully at home and we were all with him and he has been ailing for the last three months and he passed away peacefully,” Gaurav told to PTI.
“On behalf of the Badminton Association of India, we condole the sad demise of legendary player- Shri Nandu Natekar. A man of many firsts, the Father of Indian Badminton, your journey will continue to inspire generations to come. Wishing prayers and strength to the family. #RIP,” BAI tweeted.
PM Modi too took to Twitter to condole the demise of veteran badminton player.
“With deepest sorrow, we would like to inform you that our beloved father Nandu Natekar passed away on 28th July, 2021,” The Natekar family said in a message.
“Keeping in mind the COVID-19 guidelines, we will not be having a condolence meeting. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”
During his career spanning more than 15 years, Natekar reached the quarter-finals of the prestigious All England Championship in 1954 and won the Selangor International tournament in 1956 to become the first Indian player to win an international title.
In his famed career, he represented the Indian team in the Thomas Cup from 1951 to 1963, winning 12 of his 16 singles and eight of his 16 doubles matches. He also represented India at the 1965 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.