Punch Gunalan

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Punch Gunalan
Personal information
Country  Malaysia
Born (1944-02-04)4 February 1944
Sepang, Selangor, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Died 15 August 2012(2012-08-15) (aged 68)
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Handedness Right
Event Men's singles & Men's doubles

Datuk Punch Gunalan (4 February 1944 – 15 August 2012)[1] was a Malaysian badminton star, one of the finest combination doubles and singles players that the country has ever produced.

Badminton career[edit]

Gunalan was a talented right-hander who spent what might have been some of the best years of his playing career competing only sporadically as a student in England.

In early 70s, Gunalan and his partner, Ng Boon Bee were the leading men's doubles player in the world[2]. They captured gold in biennial Asian and Commonwealth Games, Asian Championships and winning the venerable All England title in 1971.

Though perhaps less consistent in singles than he was in doubles, Gunalan was capable of playing it at the highest level. He reached the All-England singles final in 1974, losing in three close games to the iconic Rudy Hartono[3]. He also helps Malaysia to reach the Thomas Cup final in 1970. He is the only Malaysian who captured gold medal in the both men's singles and men's doubles in the Sea Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games[4].

Post-retirement[edit]

After retiring as a player in 1974 Gunalan served in various stints as coach of the Malaysian team, an official in the Malaysian Badminton Association and as an official in the International Badminton Federation (now Badminton World Federation). In 1992, as team manager of the Thomas Cup together with Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tan Sri Elyas Omar, Malaysia won the Thomas Cup beating Indonesian[5].

Achievements[edit]

  • with Ng Boon Bee

1969 Asian Championships gold medalist

1969, 1971 US open champion

1970 Asian Games gold medalist

1970 Commonwealth Games gold medalist

1971 All England champion

1971 Canadian Open champion

1971 Sea Games gold medalist

1971, 1972 Denmark Open champion

1971, 1972 German Open champion

1971, 1972 Poona Open champion

Death[edit]

Gunalan died on 15 August 2012 after suffering from a critical illness. He was 68.[6]

References[edit]