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TTFI vice-president Karunakaran is no more




New Delhi, September 21: P. Karunakaran, vice-president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and Secretary of the Pondicherry Table Tennis Association, passed away today afternoon at a Chennai hospital, where he was admitted for a kidney ailment, three days ago.


He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, and will be cremated at Pondicherry tomorrow.


Karunakaran, 65, had been in the forefront of Pondicherry table tennis for more than three decades, having organized several national rankings and two senior national championships at Pondicherry.


Recalling his services towards promotion of the sport in the UT, Dushyant Chautala, MP and President of TTFI, said he has been deprived of the company of a great friend and an associate. “Karunakaran was our esteemed member and a good friend, who always breathed table tennis. The sport has become poorer by his sudden loss,” he said in his condolence message.


M.P. Singh, secretary general of TTFI, said that he had been fortunate to have associated with Karunakaran for more than two decades. “We have known each other for more than two decades and his contribution towards the promotion of table tennis will always be remembered. We have lost a best friend.”


Former secretary general and advisor Dhanraj Choudhary, in his condolence message, remembered Karunakaran’s association for more than three decades. “He had single-handedly built the UT (Pondicherry) association overcome problems and helped players come up at national level to compete with the best. He was a great organizer, too,” he said.


Very active and a popular figure in table tennis fraternity, Karunakaran’s services will be remembered for a long time. As secretary of the UT’s association, Karunakaran had been working hard to help local paddlers get a big platform and regularly sending teams to compete at the national level in all ranking tournaments and nationals. He has also helped several of his associates raise to the level of national and international umpires from Pondicherry.


In fact, during his tenure Pondicherry men’s team had upset Andhra Pradesh to enter the pre-quarterfinals for the first time at the Senior Nationals in Manesar.


A very good administration and an organizer par excellence, Karunakaran’s death has left a void which is difficult to fill for his associates in the Pondicherry Table Tennis Association.