MANGALORE: Scores of athletes and well-wishers offered floral tributes to the mortal remains of international athlete AnandShetty, who died in an accident, at Mangala Stadium premises on Tuesday.
Shetty’s body was brought to the stadium at 7.20pm after some rituals were performed at his house in Kuntikana in the city. Among those prominent persons who paid their last respects were forest minister Ramanath Rai, health and family welfare minister UT Khader and former MLA N Yogish Bhat. His body was cremated at Boloor crematorium.
Former international athlete Vandana Shanbag told TOI that she was shocked to hear the news of Shetty’s untimely death. “I just can’t believe that Anand Shetty is dead. I really feel sad about the demise of an athlete with whom I participated in international events, including the Seoul Olympics in 1982,” she said.
“I am more concerned about Shetty’s daughter Ankitha, who is also badly injured in the accident. In fact, I adore her as she is the classmate of my daughter Mythili,” Vandana said.
Former international athlete Sunil Kumar Shetty, who took part in many national and international events along with Anand Shetty, also expressed his shock over Shetty’s death. “We were like brothers. We participated in several events since 1978. Dakshina Kannada district was bagging state championships in 1980s with Anand Shetty taking the lead role. His contributions to the district, state and nation were immense,” he added.
Dakshina Kannada Athletics Association secretary Arun V Rao said that Anand Shetty was the best performer from the region after Vandana Rao. “Anand Shetty was a terror in the athletics field,” said Arun, who is a junior of Shetty.
Another international athlete Anil Shetty too expressed his sorrow over the death of his senior.
(Vinobha KT, TNN)
Anand was a shining example as athlete, coach
Bangalore: Poignant recollections and heartfelt sorrow swept through the athletics fraternity in Karnataka after seven-time national sprint champion and international athlete AnandShetty succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday morning. The loss of Anand, who was known for his exemplary character and selfless desire to work towards improving athletics in Karnataka, will be a void hard to fill, sportspersons say.
Ashwini Nachappa, who shared a great camaraderie with Anand in the mid-1980s, was struggling to come to terms with his untimely death. “For the first time, Karnataka had both a male and female national champion in 100m when Anand and I emerged victorious at the Mangalore Nationals in 1987. We grew together in athletics and had a great bonding,” an emotional Nachappa said.
“His contribution to the growth of inter-school and inter-club meets those years was immeasurable. He was like a family member to me…,” the Seoul Olympian added.
Anand found his true calling in athletics after a brief foray into kabaddi and was a force to reckon with at state and national-level competitions. His dominance in 100m and 200m races saw him remain the national champion from 1981 to 1989.
The 49-year-old Anand was also known to be a pioneer, having conceived and run the Bangalore Sports Club (BSC) in 1996 along with former sprinter and Dhyan Chand awardee Uday Prabhu and several prominent sportspersons. BSC strived to inculcate track-and-field sports among schoolchildren and Anand was the catalyst behind organizing inter-school tournaments in Karnataka. Top athletes such as Clifford Joshua, Bindu Rani, Poonam Belliappa and Shilpa Sundar have been his prized wards.
Joshua recalled having received the gold medal from him during the 2001 Federation Cup meet at the Sree Kanteerava stadium. It was an emotional moment for Clifford back then, and still stirs up his emotions when he recalls it. “I still remember I was running on the fifth lane. I had broken his (Anand’s) 200m record and he was smiling, cheering me on. Later on the podium, I realized he was going to present me the gold medal. I couldn’t control my emotions,” Clifford recounted.
“I trained under him at BSC. I credit all my achievements to his and Uday’s coaching. I was with him throughout in his last moments at the hospital,” added Clifford.
One of Anand’s primary international achievements, apart from being a gold medallist at the 1987 SAF Games, was making the cut for the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. He was part of the 4x100m relay quartet and finished fifth along with Sunil Abraham, Kamal Ali and Adille Sumariwalla.
“He was a quiet chap who was dedicated to perfecting himself in his discipline during the national camp,” recalled Sunil. “We worked together at the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (Telco, now Tata Motors) for many years before he moved on to Infosys. I feel his greatest contribution has been the voluntary coaching he did for schoolchildren and youth,” he said.
Fellow sprinter Adille recalled: “He went about his training with great dedication. He showed his grit through his performance. He had great plans for promoting athletics among schools in Karnataka and I’ll miss a great friend,” said the Athletics Federation of India president.
NAME: Anand Shetty
FROM: Mani, Dakshina Kannada
NATIONAL: Nine national titles in 100m & 200m from 1981 to 1989
INTERNATIONAL: 200m silver in 1981 junior invitational meet in Seoul; 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi (fifth in 4x100m relay); 1986 Asian Games in Seoul (participant); 4x100m medallist at 1983 Asian Track & Field in Kuwait; 200m gold at 1987 SAF Games in Kolkata; 1989 SAF Games in Islamabad (participant); 1991 Rajyothsava awardee