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Former India volleyball captain Tilakam Gopal passes away

News 18 Dec 2012, 20:11 IST

A pall of gloom descended on the Indian volleyball fraternity with the passing away of former Indian volleyball captain Tilakam Gopal in Hyderabad.

Gopal, who was touted as one of the finest volleyball players to don the national colours, was down with prolonged illness. He was 71.

During his playing days Gopal used to grab attention for the manner in which he unleashed immense power in his smashes.

He was also excelled in athletics, and during his stint with Andhra Pradesh Police, he held the record for clocking 50.20 in the 400m race – a record which stood for 30 long years.

The former India spiker was coached by G. P. Balaram and played for Andhra Pradesh at the age of 17 in the first of his 13 national championships.

Career-wise, Gopal’s biggest moment came at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, where he was a member of the silver medal winning Indian squad.

Gopal captained the Indian team in the five-Test series against Russia in at home 1966.

He subsequently led the national team in the 1966 Bangkok Asian Games where India failed to script a podium finish, finishing fourth.

Gopal, who retired as Superintendent of Police in Andhra Pradesh Police, used to be an active participant in the state volleyball activities.

The former Indian captain also has a tournament named after him – the T. Gopal Trophy for the B-Division league, which was organised for many years.

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