Veteran athletics coach Purushotham Rai died due to a cardiac arrest on Friday, tragically a day in advance of he was to be conferred with the prestigious Dronacharya Award. He was 79.
“He took component in the rehearsal for the Nationwide Sports activities Awards but later on suffered heart assault and passed away,” a leading AFI official advised PTI.
The Nationwide Sports activities Awards ceremony will be held pretty much on Saturday due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rai was to get the Dronacharya Award from President Ram Nath Kovind in the lifetime group. He coached leading athletes this kind of as Olympian quarter-miler Vandana Rao, heptathlete Pramila Aiyappa, Ashwini Nachappa, Murali Kuttan, MK Asha, EB Shyla, Rosa Kutty and GG Pramila.
“It is a tragic incident and we at AFI are shocked. He invested his entire lifestyle for athletics and he produced immense contribution to Indian athletics. We condole his tragic demise and express our condolences to his family members,” explained AFI president Adille Sumariwalla.
Rai started his coaching occupation soon after securing a diploma from the Netaji Institute of Sports activities in 1974. “He was a fantastic coach beneath whom several leading Indian athletes together with several Olympians had educated. It is this kind of a unhappy incident to pass away just a day in advance of getting the award,” explained former lengthy-jumper Anju Booby George, one particular of India’s athletics wonderful.
Rai also coached the Indian group for the 1987 Globe Athletics Championship, 1988 Asian Track and Discipline Championships and 1999 SAF Video games. He was also concerned in coaching roles at Solutions, Division of Youth Empowerment & Sports activities (DYES), and Sports activities Authority of India (SAI).