Former swimming champ dies in accident

Former South Asian Games swimming gold medalist M B Balakrishnan died in a road accident here, police said Wednesday.

The 29-year old former 50m national record holder was on his way home Tuesday night on a two-wheeler from Koyambedu with his friend riding pillion when the vehicle hit a lorry and he lost control.

Balakrishnan, who was riding the two-wheeler, came under the wheels of the lorry after his vehicle skid and was killed on the spot, police said.

Balakrishnan, an alumnus of the Guindy Engineering College here, pursued his higher education in the US and was working there. He had come to Chennai few days ago.

He won a gold in the National Games at Guwahati in 2007 and later rewrote the 50m backstroke national record in July 2010 at the Senior National championships in New Delhi.

He won the 100m and 200m backstroke events at the South Asian Games the same year.

Balakrishnan’s coach T Chandrasekaran said he was shocked to learn about the death.

“He was a role model for swimmers in the state and could have gone on to win bigger laurels,” Chandrasekaran added.