national table tennis champion Manmeet Singh Walia, who was suffering from rare
ALS disease for nearly two years, passed away in Montreal, Canada.
Manmeet was 58 and is survived by his wife and two daughters. He succumbed to the disease on Monday.
was suffering from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a disease that causes
motor neuron degeneration, leading to voluntary muscle impairment.
He had visited his doctors in Coimbatore also, trying to seek advice and find a cure.
One of the finest and consistent performers in the ’80s, Manmeet became the national champion in 1989 when he beat S Sriram in the men’s singles final in Hyderabad.
He had represented the country at multiple international events after making his debut at the Asian Championships in 1980 along with eight-time national champion Kamlesh Mehta.
The Indian squad then, comprising Manjeet Singh Dua, Kamlesh Mehta, B. Arun Kumar, Manmeet and V. Chandrasekhar, led 4-2 before losing 4-5 to North Korea.
Manmeet’s two crucial wins included beating then World number six Jo Young Ho, their top player, and another player who was World No. 13. Manmeet was all of just 18 then.
TTFI Secretary General M.P. Singh, condoling his death, said it was a sad moment for the entire table tennis fraternity.
“I have interacted with him as a player during my playing days as well as in recent times when he came to Delhi a couple of years ago. I have lost a good friend,” he said.