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Athletics champion dies as son breaks record

Sunday December 19, 2010 05:53:55 PM, IANS

Thiruvananthapuram: It was only after Sujith Kuttan, son of Murali Kuttan and Mercy Kuttan, created a record in the 100 metres State Schools Athletic Meet here that the boy learnt his father had passed away.

Murali Kuttan, 56, former 400-metre national champion who represented the country at international meets in the early 70s, was taken ill Saturday night. Even though he died last Sunday morning, the news was withheld from his son because he was to appear for the 100-metre finals Sunday afternoon.

Sujith won the race creating a meet record. He broke down when he was told the bad news later.

The last words that Murali Kuttan said was that his son should run the race irrespective of his health condition.

Murali's wife Mercy Kuttan was the first Indian woman long jumper to cross six metres. In 1989, Mercy received the Arjuna Award for her contribution to the Indian athletics.

Murali and Mercy became the first Indian athletic couple to emerge national champions and win Asiad medals.

Later, Murali took the role of the coach and had influenced Mercy to shift from long jump to 400 metres. Both Mercy and Murali worked for Tata Steel, Jamshedpur and currently the couple run the Mercy Kuttan Athletics Academy in Kochi.

Murali's body was placed at the University Stadium for people to pay the last respects. The cremation will take place on Monday at Kochi.






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