Wed, 29 Sep 2021

New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu have condoled the demise of Indian badminton legend Nandu Natekar.

"In the passing of Nandu Natekar, India has lost one of its sporting pioneers. A great player, he brought international recognition to Indian badminton. Honoured with the Arjuna Award, he mentored and inspired generations of sportspersons. Condolences to his familyadmirers," President Kovind tweeted.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu also came forward to pay tribute to the badminton legend. He wrote, "Saddened by the demise of iconic badminton player, Shri Nandu Natekar. He made an invaluable contribution to Indian Badmintonwon over 100 nationalinternational titles. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members. Om Shanti!"Indian badminton icon Nandu Natekar passed away in Pune at age of 88. The six-time national singles champion made his India debut at the age of 20 and successfully shouldered the responsibility of leading India's challenge in the Thomas Cup men's team championship for more than a decade from 1951-1963.

Born in Sangli, Maharashtra, in 1933, Natekar dabbled with playing tennis and even reached the junior nationals final against the legendary Ramanathan Krishnan before deciding to focus on his badminton career.

"It's very sad to hear about the demise of Nandu Natekar. He gave Indians a belief that we also can win titles overseas with his win in Kuala Lumpur. Indian badminton will always be grateful for his contribution. The entire badminton community is with his family in this hour of grief and loss," BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania said.

The legendary shuttler Natekar also won multiple men's doubles and mixed-doubles national titles during his career spanning 15 years and reached the quarter-finals in his only All England appearance in 1954. (ANI)

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