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C. Kunalan

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Canagasabai Kunalan (born 23 October 1942)[1] is a retired Singaporean sprinter, relay runner, former footballer and educator, widely regarded as one of Singapore's greatest ever athletes.[2][3] Named Sportsman of the Year in both 1968 and 1969,[4] his feat of 10.38 seconds in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games 100 metres was a national record that stood for 33 years.[5][6][7]

C. Kunalan
Kunalan at a Singapore Olympic Academy Youth Session, 2010.
Personal information
Full name Canagasabai Kunalan
Nickname(s) Mr. Kunalan
Nationality Singapore
Born (1942-10-23) 23 October 1942 (age 75)
Years active 1963–1979
Country  Malaysia (before 9 August 1965)
Sport Athletics
Coached by Tan Eng Yoon
Yap Boon Chuan
Retired 1979




Kunalan first came into running in 1963, at the age of 20. Formerly a football player, Kunalan switched to running when his PE teacher commended him for his fast moving legs after noticing him running while chasing the ball.[8] He participated in the 1964 Summer Olympics as part of the Malaysian 4 × 100 m relay team with Malaysian sprint legend Mani Jegathesan, and subsequently represented Singapore after it left the federation.

Kunalan has participated in two Olympic Games (Tokyo, 1964 and Mexico City, 1968) and has earned five Asian Games and nine Southeast Asian Peninsular Games medals.[9][unreliable source?]


C Kunalan taught six years in Tiong Bahru Primary School and thirteen years in Dunearn Secondary Technical School before joining the National Institute of Education in 1980.[1][10] Kunalan became an assistant professor there.[11] He specialised in functional anatomy and exercise physiology, and conducted practical classes in fitness and conditioning. Kunalan left the institute in 2010.[12]

Singapore Athletic AssociationEdit

He also serves as Vice Principal(Training and Selection) with the Singapore Athletic Association.[13][14]


Kunalan was one of the 23 members of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC).[15]

Other appearancesEdit

Kunalan also made a cameo appearance in the music video for one of the three 2010 Summer Youth Olympics cheer songs, You Are The One Singapore, alongside former athlete Ang Peng Siong and swimmer Tao Li.[16]


  1. ^ a b "A Tribute to The Fastest Man in 100m for 33 years". Dunearn Tech. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "31 years of sporting heroes". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Singapore's 50 greatest athletes". Get For Me. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Hall of Fame: C Kunalan". SSC Sports Museum. Archived from the original on 28 November 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Ministry of Education Singapore. Love Matters: An Anthology of Poems and Short Stories. Singapore City: Armour Publishing. 
  6. ^ "Canagasabai Kunalan". Singapore Olympics. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Peter H. L. Lim (2009). Chronicle of Singapore, 1959-2009: Fifty Years of Headline News. Singapore City: Editions Didier Millet. 
  8. ^ Wong, Ashika (27 July 2012). "Local hero: C Kunalan, 72, retired athlete". Time Out Singapore. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Canagasabai Kunalan - Singapore Sports Icon". Yahoo. 17 October 2008. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Mr. C. Kunalan". Woodlands Secondary School. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Service". National Institute of Education. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Wong, Alicia (12 September 2011). "'If I can do it, you can do even better'". Yahoo News. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "C Kunalan: Track Legend, Father of Three". Dads For Life. Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "SAA Annual General Meeting 2012". Singapore Athletics Association. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC) board members". Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  16. ^ "Are You Ready to Cheer Singapore?" (Press release). Singapore Sports Council. 29 April 2010. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 

Further readingEdit

  • Quek, Steven (2010). C. Kunalan: Singapore’s Greatest Track and Field Athlete. Singapore.