Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Badminton legend Punch Gunalan dies

Badminton legend Punch Gunalan dies
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 11:48
Location: 
KUALA LUMPUR

punch gunalan
A file picture of Gunalan taken fromstadiumastro.com
MALAYSIA'S former badminton star Datuk Punch Gunalan died at Subang Jaya Medical Centre, near here this morning after a bout of illness at age 68.

His excellence in the sport of badminton began in the early 60's when he won the men's singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the Negeri Sembilan Badminton Championships (1961-1963).

He also lifted the Asian Youth Badminton Championship title in Kuala Lumpur in 1962.

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.

In 1974, he celebrated a double medal haul when he clinched the gold for the men's singles and broze for the doubles during the Commonwelath Games in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Gunalan was named the National Sportsman of The Year in 1969 and 1974.

After his playing career, he took up a coaching role and was the headcoach for the Malaysian Thomas Cup team in 1992.
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August 15, 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.

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