Athletics coach Purushottam Rai dies day earlier than he was to obtain Dronacharya award


New Delhi, August 29

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday condoled the dying of veteran athletics coach Purushottam Rai, who was to obtain this 12 months’s Dronacharya award within the lifetime class.

Rai, who was to be bestowed the honour on Saturday and had even participated within the costume rehearsal for the first-of-its-kind digital ceremony, died on Friday night after struggling a coronary heart assault in Bengaluru. He was 79.

“India lost veteran athletics coach Shri Puroshottam Rai on Friday. Shri Rai was to receive the Dronacharya (Lifetime) Award today at the virtual National Sports Awards ceremony.His contribution will always be remembered,” Rijiju tweeted.

The National Sports Awards ceremony can be held nearly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rai was to obtain the Dronacharya award from President Ram Nath Kovind within the lifetime class.

Rai started his teaching profession after securing a diploma from Netaji Institute of Sports in 1974.

He coached prime athletes reminiscent of Olympian quartermiler Vandana Rao, heptathlete Pramila Aiyappa, Ashwini Nachappa, Murali Kuttan, MK Asha, E B Shyla, Rosa Kutty and GG Pramila.

Rai additionally coached the Indian workforce for the 1987 World Athletics Championship, the 1988 Asian Track and Field Championships and the 1999 South Asian Games. PTI



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