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Badminton

Badminton referee Vemuri Sudhakar, who officiated at 3 Olympics, passes away due to COVID

Veteran international badminton match referee and umpire Vemuri Sudhakar succumbed to Covid-19 on Tuesday morning. He was aged 72 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Vemuri Sudhakar (Source: Go Badminton/Twitter)
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 Vemuri Sudhakar (Source: Go Badminton/Twitter)

By

The Bridge Desk

Published: 18 May 2021 7:38 AM GMT

Veteran international badminton match referee and umpire Vemuri Sudhakar succumbed to Covid-19 on Tuesday morning. He was aged 72 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Regarded as one of the top officials of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), Sudhakar was the only Indian to officiate in three successive Olympic (1992, 1996 and 2000) apart from officiating in numerous international and World Cup tournaments. He held a good reputation, so much so that after his superannuation in December 2016, he received an invitation to officiate at the Asian Junior Championship at Jakarta.
Sudhakar retired as a Deputy Manager of Syndicate Bank. Sudhakar got attracted to badminton at 22 years. "I first got fascinated with the sport at 22, although it was too late to start as a player. I transformed my interest into officiating games instead," he had told Deccan Chronicle.
He had a rich voice and was popular among players and officials alike. After his stint as an umpire, he excelled as a referee. He would be invited by BWF to conduct seminars and clinics on the rules of the game. A recipient of the BWF Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his role as a mentor for BWF umpires, and a member of the BWF Umpire Assessment Panel, Sudhakar believed that his umpiring decisions reflect his personality. He also taught umpires and conducted technical courses across Asia.
Sudhakar was a student of Methodist School and the Nizam College, his maiden Olympics was also the same edition when badminton was introduced as a medal sport.
PV Sindhu tweeted, I am shocked to hear that Shri Sudhakar Vemuri sir, International badminton umpire has passed away. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.


Jwala Gutta said Sudhakar's demise was a big loss to the game of badminton. "Only other day I came to know he was in the hospital and I tried the best medication possible. Even on Monday, he sent me a note thanking me and today he is no more. I grew up watching him officiate in matches. He used to explain the rules very patiently,'' said Jwala.



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