Former state player Anupama succumbs to Covid

The dreaded coronavirus, which is ravaging the country in a terrorising second wave, claimed a second victim from the State sports fraternity in a span of four days. After United Karnataka Chess Association secretary Hanumantha passed away late last week, former Karnataka hockey player and international umpire Anupama Puchimanda breathed her last on Sunday morning.

Anupama, 40, tested positive for Covid-19 about 10 days ago and was self-quarantining at her home. She showed signs of recovery but in a cruel twist of fate, her condition worsened and she passed away.  Anupama leaves behind her husband Mandanna.

Anupama made her debut for Karnataka in 1995 at the Sub-junior Nationals. She represented the senior team as well before switching over to officiating, becoming the first women hockey umpire from the state in 2004.

In 2006, Anupama became the first woman umpire from India to officiate at the Commonwealth Games. She was among the two Asians who officiated at the Central American and Caribbean Games. She went on to officiate in over 90 international matches apart from over 100 national and state-level matches on the domestic circuit.

Anupama, an ever-smiling individual liked by many, was also an Executive Council Member of the Karnataka State Hockey Association.

KSHA condoled her untimely death.

Hockey India also mourned Anupama’s tragic demise. “This morning we woke up to the very sad news about Anupama Punchimanda’s demise in Bengaluru. She was one of the first few women in India to umpire at very reputed international tournaments. We at Hockey India share the grief of her family and friends and we extend our deepest condolences to Anupama’s family members,” said HI president Gyanendro Ningombam.

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