Punch Gunalan dies aged 68
UPDATED @ 03:40:56 PM 15-08-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 ― Badminton legend Datuk Punch Gunalan passed away here this morning, just days after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 68.
He played in both the singles and doubles category for the country in the 1970s.
Gunalan, whose given name is Gunalan Panchacharan, was born in Sepang, Selangor during the height of World War II in 1944.
During his heyday in the 70s, Gunalan and partner Ng Boon Bee dominated the world stage, winning a slew of titles that included, among others, the All England as well as the Canadian, Danish and US Open titles.
Gunalan joined the national Thomas Cup squad in 1970 and 1973, and won the gold medal in the men’s doubles event at the Asian Games in 1970.
After his retirement, he went on to guide the next generation of players as the coach of the national team under the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), where he helped steer the country to its Thomas Cup triumph in 1992.
He was subsequently made deputy president of the International Badminton Federation (now Badminton World Federation).
In 2004, the former shuttler was honoured with a place in the Olympic Council of Malaysia’s Hall of Fame.
Gunalan had also been named the National Sportsman of the Year in 1969, and again in 1974.
He leaves behind his wife P. Vijeyakumari, 64, and son Roshan Gunalan, 36, who is an orthopaedic specialist.
His remains will be brought to his home at No.9, Jalan 12/14B Petaling Jaya where visitors may pay their last respects from 1pm today, before being cremated at the Kampung Tunku Crematorium in Petaling Jaya tomorrow at 4pm.