New Delhi. Veteran coach Purushotham Rai passed away due to a cardiac arrest in Bengaluru on Friday. He was 79 and was to be conferred with the prestigious Dronacharya Award in lifetime category on Saturday.
AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla condoled the death of former SAI coach and said, “It is a tragic incident and we at AFI are shocked. He spent his whole life for athletics and he made immense contribution to Indian athletics. We condole his tragic demise and express our condolences to his family.”
Rai began his coaching career after securing a diploma from Netaji Institute of Sports in 1974. He coached top athletes such as Olympian quartermiler Vandana Rao, heptathlete Pramila Aiyappa, Ashwini Nachappa, Murali Kuttan, MK Asha, EB Shyla, Rosa Kutty and GG Pramila. Rai also coached the Indian team for the 1987 World Athletics Championship, 1988 Asian Track and Field Championships and 1999 SAF Games. He was also involved in coaching roles at Services, Department of Youth Empowerment & Sports (DYES), and Sports Authority of India (SAI).