Tragedy mars national games as Maharashtra netball player dies

Tragedy struck the 35th National Games when a young netball player from Maharashtra suddenly collapsed and died during a practice session here Monday. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said his state will bear all expenses for airlifting the body to the player’s home state.

Mayuresh Pawar, 21, become dizzy and fell unconscious around 1 p.m. His teammates immediately rushed him to a hospital but by that time, he had passed away, according to an official.

A Games official told IANS that Pawar’s team had played against Chandigarh in the morning. “Chandigarh won the match and they left the venue. The incident occurred when the Maharashtra team arrived at the practice court close to noon, where he fell ill suddenly,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

However, there were conflicting reports about the cause of death. Though the official said the player died following cardiac arrest, doctors who conducted the autopsy at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and Hospital certified that death was due to drowning.

The team, after completing their morning match, had reached the seaside near the Thiruvananthapuram domestic airport and it is believed that the team had waded into the sea and the net ball player had fallen in the water.

Chandy Monday evening gave directions to the Games organisers to airlift the body to Maharashtra, an official said.

National Games Secretariat CEO Jacob Punnoose told IANS that when he came to know about the incident, he immediately directed the officials to see that an autopsy be conducted.

“I was informed that this player was taken to a private hospital and he was declared dead,” said Punnoose. “The chief minister immediately agreed to meet all expenses for airlifting the body. It will be flown tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 a.m. and two officials will be accompanying the body,” he added.

The body has been kept at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and Hospital. Kerala Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan paid homage to the young player, and as a mark of respect, cultural programmes at the Games village were cancelled for the day.(IANS)

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