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Published: Wednesday August 15, 2012 MYT 8:56:00 AMUpdated: Wednesday August 15, 2012 MYT 6:31:41 PM
By RAJES PAUL
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PETALING JAYA: Badminton legend Datuk Punch Gunalan passed away peacefully at 6am Wednesday. He was 68.
Gunalan had been battling with liver cancer for some time.
He had put Malaysia on the world's map in the 1970s with his immaculate performances in the singles and doubles events - representing the country in the Thomas Cup, All-England and Asian Games.
He had also served with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and Badminton World Federation (BWF), earning the respect of the world for his excellent administrative and communication skills and also for his warmth, kindness and passion for the sport.
Born in 1944 in Sepang, Selangor, Gunalan was inducted into the Olympic Council of Malaysia Hall of Fame in 2004.
A citation from the OCM website reads:
While Malaysians were overwhelmed in 1970 for losing the Thomas Cup, Gunalan defeated Indonesian legends Injartno and Mirjati in his doubles title game with partner Ng Boon Bee to regain Malaysia back in the world of badminton. Despite losing 2-7 to Indonesia at the championship, Gunalan's victory is something that we can still be proud of.
Gunalan had made a successful career in his life. A talented right-hander, he was indeed among the finest combination doubles Malaysia has ever produced. In 1971, Gunalan and Boon Bee again became the top men's doubles team in the world, winning the prestigious All England title, as well as the Canadian, Danish and U.S Open titles. His gifted right-hand amazed people with his exiting smash.
After his retirement, Gunalan continued his career by coaching the Malaysian team (Badminton Association of Malaysia) and later being appointed as the Deputy President of the International Badminton Federation. Under his reign, he vowed to make badminton as the best racquet sport in the world.
His continuous contributions and tremendous achievements in the badminton arena shall always be an inspiration for our young shuttlers.
1969 - Champion, U.S. Open for Men's Double title
1970 - His first contribution in Thomas Cup
1970 - 1972 - Champion, Danish Open for Men's Double title
1971 - Champion, U.S. Open for Men's Double title
1971 - Champion, All England for Men's Double title
1971 - Champion, Canadian Open for Men's double title
2005 - Became Deputy President of the International Badminton Federation
The funeral service will be held on Aug 16 (Thursday) at 2pm at No 9 Jalan 12/14B, Petaling Jaya.
Cortege leaves for MBPJ Crematorium in Kampung Tunku at 3pm.
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