Prakash applauds Andhra's dominance

The State that produced India’s first All England champion, Prakash Padukone, has just one seeded player in the U-16 and U-19 sections combined among both boys and girls.

By contrast, neighbours Andhra Pradesh boast an incredible 30 seeds, accounting for more than 50 percent. Applauding the efforts of the AP players, Padukone said the state had been able to produce wonderful talent due to the brilliant infrastructure which has been in place for more than a decade.

“The Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association has done extensive planning and implementation for the growth of the sport,” Padukone said here on Saturday. “Rather than concentrating only on Hyderabad, strong emphasis was laid in nurturing and grooming talent across all other districts. Every district association has multiple world-class courts and vastly experienced coaches. Most of the cost is borne by the state association.”

Most of India’s current singles stars hail from Andhra Pradesh. Chetan Anand is ranked 12th in the world, P Kashyap is 32nd among men, while Saina Nehwal’s meteoric rise has seen her climb to seventh in the world women’s rankings.

“Most coaches are hired by the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh. The stadiums too are owned by SAAP, which makes the sport easily accessible to even the underprivileged.
Badminton in Karnataka is centred around Bangalore and Belgaum. The sport is in its resurrection phase here,” added Padukone.

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