India, March 30 -- In the list of great Indian sporting achievements, March 23, 1980 will be inscribed in golden letters. That was the day when a player who, as a 16-year-old, had captivated Indian badminton fans by winning the junior and senior national titles in Madras (now Chennai), fulfilled his great promise and helped the country realise a dream.

At the Wembley Arena in London, Prakash Padukone became India's first great champion at global level, winning the prestigious All England title. The 24-year-old defeated top-seed and defending champion Liem Swie King 15-3 15-10 in the final, crushing the Indonesian's hopes of completing a hat-trick of titles.

The unassuming bank officer from Karnataka completed a sensational run without dro...