Career of Murali Kuttan
In the initial phase of his sports career Murali Kuttan competed in the shorter versions of the sprint including 100 and 200 metres. However he tasted success after joining the Indian Army in the year 1974 following which he shifted his focus to 400 metres. During the period between 1975 and 1984, he was a national champion in 400 metres in which his personal best was 46.8 seconds. Murali Kuttan achieved international success in 1978 at the Indo-Russian athletic meet by winning the 400m gold. The same year he bagged the 400 m bronze at the Bangkok Asian Games, finishing behind Abbas Al Aibi of Iraq and compatriot Uday K. Prabhu. Throughout the 1970s Murali Kuttan had shared a healthy rivalry with Uday K. Prabhu.
Murali Kuttan had also been a part of the silver medal winning Indian team at the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games in the 4 x 400m relay. He also won the Bronze medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in Tokyo in the year 1981 in 4 x 400m relay. In the year 1985 he earned a diploma degree in coaching from the Netaji National Institute of Sports in Kolkata following which he joined TISCO, Jamshedpur as an athletic coach.
Personal Life of Murali Kuttan
Murali Kuttan was married to the former athlete Mercy Kuttan who had represented India at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. They met at the selection camp for the 1980 Moscow Olympics and got married after two years. They were famed as the first Indian athletic couple to become national champions and being victors of Asian medals. Both of them worked for Tata Steel, Jamshedpur and it was Murali who influenced Mercy to shift her focus from long jump to 400 metres. The couple also established the Mercy Kuttan Athletics Academy in Kochi which is a non-profit organisation for imparting training to the promising youth for major international competitions. Murali Kuttan was also training his younger son named Sujith Kuttan for the 2014 Olympics.
Death of Murali Kuttan
Murali Kuttan died on 19th December 2010 following a massive heart attack in Thiruvananthapuram. He had come to the city with his wife and son for attending the 54th Kerala State Schools athletics meet. His son, Sujith, won the senior boys’ 100 m gold medal creating a new meet record, being unaware that his father passed away the previous night.
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