Modi tweeted, “Shri Nandu Natekar has a special place in India’s sports history. He was an outstanding badminton player and a great mentor. His success continues to motivate budding athletes, saddened by his demise.” He was suffering from age related ailments.
Pune: Nandu Natekar, the first Indian badminton player to win an international title in 1956, passed away in Pune on Wednesday.
The 88-year-old, who won over 100 national and international titles in his career, was suffering from age-related ailments. He is survived by son Gaurav and two daughters.
Gaurav said, “He passed away peacefully at home and we were all with him and he has been ill for the last three months and passed away peacefully.”
Assam CM tweeted
One of the towering icons of Indian badminton, Nandu Natekar leaves behind a rich legacy, that we shall cherish forever. 6-time national champion & first Indian to win an international title in 1956, Natekar shall be remembered fondly for his drives, drops & smashes. Condolences. pic.twitter.com/jfDl4eShoQ
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 28, 2021
Assam chief ministed said,”One of the great icons of Indian badminton, Nandu Natekar has left behind a rich legacy that we will cherish forever. A 6-time national champion and the first Indian to win an international title in 1956, Natekar will be remembered for his drives, drops and smashes. Mourning.”
Considered one of the most popular players of his time, Natekar was also a former world number three player. Born in Sangli in western Maharashtra, Natekar won over 100 national and international titles in his career spanning 15 years. He was also awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1961.
The Natekar family said in a message, “With deepest sorrow, we would like to inform you that our beloved father Nandu Natekar passed away on July 28, 2021.”
“Keeping the COVID-19 guidelines in mind, we will not hold condolence meetings. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.” In his distinguished career, Natekar made it to the quarter-finals of the prestigious All England Championship in 1954 and became the first Indian player to win an international competition, claiming the Selanger International in Malaysia in 1956.
He won 12 of 16 singles matches and 8 of 16 in doubles as part of the Indian team in the Thomas Cup between 1951 and 1963. He also had the distinction of leading the country in tournaments in 1959, 1961. 1963.
He had represented India in Jamaica at commonwealth games in 1965.