Former National TT champion Manmeet Singh passes away

Manmeet was one of the most consistent and prolific performers in Indian table tennis in the 1980s and represented the country at multiple events.

Manmeet Singh plays a shot during men's singles of the 48th National table tennis championship in New Delhi in January 1987. (The Hindu Archives)   -  V. SUDERSHAN

Manmeet Singh Walia, the former National table tennis champion, died following a prolonged illness in Montreal, Canada on Monday.

Manmeet, whose solitary National championship title came in 1988-89 in Hyderabad, suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for well over a year before breathing his last.

Manmeet was one of the most consistent and prolific performers in Indian table tennis in the 1980s and represented the country at multiple international events.   

When it came to the Nationals, however, Manmeet was unfortunate to have lost to the eventual champion four times in a row since 1981.

He broke the jinx in Hyderabad in 1988-89 by overcoming S. Sriram in the final. After retiring in the early 1990s, Manmeet relocated to Canada and stayed in touch with his old friends.

"Terrific player. We shared some amazing moments on and off the table. I think he is gone too soon, just like the way he retired too early," Kamlesh Mehta, his nemesis and a teammate at the Banks Sports Board then, told Sportstar.

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