Bitter-sweet day for Kuttan's family

Hailing from a family of sportspersons, he went on to equal the meet record of 10.90 seconds to grab the gold. However, the joy soon turned into a deep sorrow for Sujith as he came to know about his father Murali Kuttan’s, a former 400-metre national champion, death. “Why was I not told about it before I ran,’’ the grieving lad said at the hospital where he enquired about his father’s health. “Because he insisted that you should run irrespective of his health condition,’’ said his mother Mercy Kuttan, who was also inconsolable on meeting her son.

Mercy is also a well-known athlete, the first Indian woman long jumper to cross six-metre barrier. Murali, 56, had come here from Kochi along with athletes from the Mercy Kuttan Athletics Academy he runs to participate in the meet. Murali was admitted to a private hospital here on Saturday night after he developed chest pain. He passed away on Sunday morning even as Sujith was preparing for the event.  

Sporting couple

Murali had won the bronze in the 400 metre race and silver in the 4 x 400-metre relay at the Bangkok Asian Games. Mercy, a former long jumper and sprinter, had represented the country in several track and field events. She won the long jump silver in the 1982 Asian Games and had participated in the 400-metre event in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She had received the Arjuna Award in 1989 for her contribution to Indian athletics. Both Murali and Mercy had worked for Tata Steel at Jamshedpur. Murali’s funeral will be held at Kochi on Monday.

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