Sunday, 21 Jul 2024

BWF Mourns Visionary Dr. Gupta’s Passing

Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta, a visionary leader in the world of badminton. Dr. Gupta’s sudden passing in Lucknow, India has left the badminton community in shock and mourning.

A Passionate Champion for Badminton

Dr. Gupta, a member of the BWF Council since 2013, was not only the President of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), but also the Vice-President of Badminton Asia. His contributions to the sport and his dedication to its development in India were immeasurable.

Recognizing Dr. Gupta’s Impact

In a heartfelt tribute to his colleague, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer acknowledged Dr. Gupta’s immense influence on badminton in India. Noting his background as an international badminton player, Høyer praised Dr. Gupta’s leadership during his tenure as BAI President, which saw a remarkable surge in interest and participation in the sport.

Elevating Indian Badminton

One of the highlights of Dr. Gupta’s presidency was India’s impressive performance at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where Pusarla V. Sindhu won the silver medal in Women’s Singles. This achievement not only showcased India’s excellence in badminton but also contributed to record television viewership for the sport during the Olympics.

A Legacy of Development

Dr. Gupta’s vision for the all-round development of badminton in India led to significant accomplishments. Under his leadership, India implemented BWF’s schools-based grassroots program, Shuttle Time, and became part of the BWF World Superseries tour. Additionally, India hosted the BWF Annual General Meeting and the LI-NING BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in 2014, giving the global badminton community a glimpse of the thriving badminton landscape in the country.

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Remembering a Leader and a Friend

President Høyer fondly recalled his recent meeting with Dr. Gupta in Bilbao, Spain, where they signed the host agreement for the BWF World Senior Championships 2017. This event, scheduled to take place later this year, will be an opportunity to pay tribute to Dr. Gupta’s remarkable legacy.

A Multifaceted Champion

Dr. Gupta’s influence extended beyond the realm of badminton. Throughout his life, he wore many hats – as a Member of Parliament, an educationist, industrialist, publisher, and sports administrator. As a former Indian badminton player, he possessed firsthand experience and a deep understanding of the sport, which he harnessed in his efforts to develop badminton in India.

Celebrating Indian Badminton

Under Dr. Gupta’s leadership, Indian badminton achieved new heights. Indian players began winning medals at the Olympics and the BWF World Championships, showcasing their talent on the world stage. Dr. Gupta’s most impactful contribution was the launch of the Premier Badminton League, which not only increased the popularity of badminton but also elevated the marketability and brand perception of Indian badminton players.

A Respected Leader in Global Badminton

Dr. Gupta’s dedication and expertise were recognized by his peers. Elected to the BWF Council in 2013, he served on several committees, including Events, Development and Sport for All, and Marketing. Within Badminton Asia, he chaired the Para-Badminton Committee, furthering his commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in the sport.


Q: What were Dr. Gupta’s achievements during his tenure as BAI President?

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During Dr. Gupta’s tenure as BAI President, India hosted the BWF Annual General Meeting, the LI-NING BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in 2014, and the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open (World Superseries). Additionally, India successfully bid to host the BWF World Senior Championships 2017 for the first time.

Q: How did Dr. Gupta contribute to the development of Indian badminton?

Dr. Gupta played a pivotal role in the development of badminton in India. He initiated projects that nurtured the sport at both the elite and grassroots levels, promoting widespread participation and talent development. His efforts paved the way for Indian players to excel at the Olympics, World Championships, and World Superseries tournaments.

Q: What was Dr. Gupta’s role in the Premier Badminton League?

Dr. Gupta spearheaded the launch of the Premier Badminton League, a game-changer for badminton in India. This league not only brought the sport into prime-time television slots but also enhanced the marketability and brand perception of Indian badminton players.


Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta’s untimely departure has left a void in the world of badminton. His remarkable contributions to the sport, both in India and globally, will be fondly remembered. Dr. Gupta’s vision, passion, and commitment to the development of badminton have left an indelible mark, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations of badminton enthusiasts worldwide.

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