SPORTING HEROES > HALL OF FAME > C KUNALAN
Clearly the most successful track & field athlete in Singapore, C Kunalan's achievements date as far back as 1966. He won a silver medal for Singapore in the 100m sprint at the 5th Asian Games, missing the gold by only a fraction of a second (0.01sec). A photo finish in 1970 again prevented him from being the fastest man in Asia . Despite having the same timing as the other two sprinters, he was awarded the bronze medal.
Kunalan also participated in two Olympic and two Commonwealth Games. Although he did not win any medals, his 10.38 second (electronic timing) for the 100m sprint (set in the 1968 Mexico Olympics) stood as the National Record for 33 years (broken by sprinter U K Shyam in 2001)
The epitome of success was reflected in the 1969 SEAP Games where he won three gold medals for the 100m, 200m and the 4x400m relay while competing against the best sprinters in the region. He was awarded the Best Sportsman Award for two consecutive years (1968 and 1969).
Kunalan retired from competition first in 1970 after the 6th Asian Games. He made a come back in 1973 and thereafter anchored the 4 x 400m team to a gold in the 1975 SEAP Games.
After retiring from major competitions in 1978, he continued his association with athletics coaching his school athletes. In 1981, at the age of 39, he ran the 400m in 48.8 seconds at the Swifts Club Annual Championship at the National Stadium, proving that he has not lost his mettle.
His concentration for the next 10 years was his career as lecturer at the Institute of Education . His stint as the National Sprint Coach from 1993 till 1996 enabled the National sprint team to break the national 4x100m record in 1994, a record which Kunalan helped set in 1974. He still keeps his association with athletics, lecturing at various IOC Athletic and National Coaches Courses.
With his humble demeanor and affable manners, this sprint icon is an ideal role model for athletes.