Athletics: Singapore Sports Museum honours local track icon C. Kunalan

The pieces, by local artist Baet Yeok Kuan, are of Kunalan's right hand holding a relay baton, called "Passing The Baton" and one of his right foot, called "Best Foot Forward".
The pieces, by local artist Baet Yeok Kuan, are of Kunalan's right hand holding a relay baton, called "Passing The Baton" and one of his right foot, called "Best Foot Forward".ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG
Former national sprinter C. Kunalan said he felt he did not deserve the attention.
Former national sprinter C. Kunalan said he felt he did not deserve the attention.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG
Former national sprinter C. Kunalan and his family pose for a group photo with Singapore Sports Hub CEO Oon Jin Teik (left), SportsSG CEO Lim Teck Yi (second from left), Singapore Athletics president Tang Weng Fei (right).
Former national sprinter C. Kunalan and his family pose for a group photo with Singapore Sports Hub CEO Oon Jin Teik (left), SportsSG CEO Lim Teck Yi (second from left), Singapore Athletics president Tang Weng Fei (right).ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Sports Hub on Friday (Oct 19) unveiled two pieces of art to honour former national sprinter C. Kunalan.

They will be placed on permanent display at the Singapore Sports Museum in Kallang.

The pieces, by local artist Baet Yeok Kuan, are of Kunalan's right hand holding a relay baton, called "Passing The Baton" and one of his right foot, called "Best Foot Forward".

This is the first time a local athlete has been honoured this way.

Kunalan, who turns 76 on Tuesday, was also presented with a birthday cake by Singapore Athletics president Tang Weng Fei.

In typically modest fashion, Kunalan said he thought the adulation he received was "a bit much" and felt he did not deserve the attention.

But he said: "They made the artefacts with a theme, and I think it's quite appropriate.

"To pass on the baton (symbolises) passing on experience, or maybe knowledge.

"And of course the foot is where it all starts - anybody interested in taking part in sports should let their legs do the talking."

Kunalan is one of Singapore's most distinguished athletes, having won 15 South-east Asian Peninsular (SEAP) medals and five from the Asian Games.

The two-time Sportsman of the Year (1968 and 1969) is best known for setting the former 100m national record of 10.38sec in 1968 at the Mexico Olympics, which stood for 33 years until U.K. Shyam rewrote the mark with a 10.37sec effort in 2001.