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Illyas Babar dead

By Our Sports Reporter

HYDERABAD JULY 30. Dronacharya Mohammad Ilyas Babar, one of the country's finest athletics coaches ever, passed away today afternoon after prolonged illness. He was 76 and survived by three sons and four daughters.

The genial Hyderabadi qualified as an athletic coach from the first batch at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala, under the tutelage of the famed American, Dr. Howard. He has a unique record of producing 17 gold medallists at the Asian Track & Field Meets and the Asian Games over the last four decades. And his list of illustrious trainees is a virtual who's who of Indian athletics with Jagmal Singh, B. V. Satyanarayana, B. S. Barua, Sriram Singh, Shivnath Singh, Tarlok Singh, Charles Borromeo, Bagicha Singh being among them.

The famous coach's crowning glory came during the 1978 Asian Games when a panel of international experts adjudged him the `Best coach in Asia' and presented the Adidas `Golden Shoe'.

He was a former State champion in the 110m hurdles from 1950 to 1957. Ilyas Babar knew what it takes to produce quality athletes. He also had the remarkable distinction of having two Padma Sri and five Arjuna Awardees among his trainees, which quite legitimately saw him being, conferred the prestigious Dronacharya Award in 1994.

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