A day after anniversary of India celebrating twin reasons for euphoria at the Olympics, another memory will fill Indians everywhere with immense pride. On this day, August 13, legendary shuttler Prakash Padukone won a gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. In the final, Padukone beat England’s Derek Talbot in straight games at 15-9, 15-8. It wasn’t the only moment of medal glory for India on the day with grapplers too picking up the yellow metal. A total of nine wrestlers won medals with Ashok Kumar (48-kg section), Satbir Singh (57-kg), and Rajinder Singh (74-kg) picking up gold, Sudesh Kumar, Jagminder Singh and Satpal silvers and three more picking up a bronze medal.
The 16-player draw included fourth male shuttlers – Padukone, Syed Modi, Partho Ganguli and Uday Pawar. Modi and Ganguli perished in the quarters while Pawar lost in the opening round. Padukone, however, remained resolute and brought glory to the country without dropping a single game. He started off by beating Moo Foot Lian 15-3, 15-6, then Richard Purser 15-1, 15-8, then Ray Stevens 15-0, 15-7 and Talbot in the final. Throughout the tournament, Padukone did not let his opponent clear the 10-point mark in convincing and dominant performances throughout.
India also earned a medal in the women’s doubles event where Ami Ghia and Kanwal Thakur Singh won a bronze medal.
Besides Padukone, Ashok, Satbir and Rajinder Singh, weightlifter Ekambaram Karunakaran also won gold for India at the 1978 Commonwealth Games held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. India finished sixth in the medals tally with 15 medals – behind Canada (109), England (87), Australia (84), Kenya (18) and New Zealand (20).