S.M. Sultan, senior vice-president of Table Tennis Federation of India and also secretary of Andhra Pradesh Table Tennis Association, passed away on Saturday. He was 61 and survived by a son and a daughter.

The Vijayawada-based Sultan has been undergoing COVID-19 treatment for the last couple of weeks and breathed his last today in a hospital in Manipal.

In fact, tragedy struck his family as he lost his mother a few days ago and his wife Lubana Moosavi on Friday night. His son Javed Moosavi is also being treated for COVID-19 and is on ventilator support.

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Sultan has been a familiar face of table tennis for close to four decades in the Telugu-speaking States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and was largely responsible in Hyderabad hosting many international events including the Commonwealth Championship, World juniors, World Cadets besides Nationals in different age groups.

He represented the undivided Andhra Pradesh in the Nationals and later on pursued his career as a lawyer.

“I lost a good friend, an able administrator and a very good organiser. His wisdom and knowledge-sharing had always come in handy for us in TTFI and we will miss him badly,” TTFI president Dushyant Chautala said in a condolence message.

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TTFI general secretary M.P. Singh said the news was surreal for him. “We knew he was hospitalised and were hopeful that he would come out unscathed. But I couldn’t digest the double blow (his wife’s death last night and his this afternoon). I lost a great friend and a guide,” he said.