He was 63 and is survived by his wife and son. Chandra, as he was popularly known, was a three-time National champion. He was also the president of the Tamizhaga Table Tennis Association as well as the director and head coach of the SDAT-Medimix TT Academy in the city.
The Chennai-born Chandra, who had reached the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982, was also a successful coach.
His playing career was cut short in 1984 following a botched knee surgery at a hospital here which led to him losing mobility, speech and vision. He fought back to recover, and served the game as a coach. He also fought a legal battle against the hospital and got a verdict in his favour.
Chandra was a gold medallist in BA Economics and Law at the time of the career-ending injury. Subsequently, Chandra returned to 70-80 per cent of his normal mobility and decided to focus on training promising players.
The 2020 Olympic Games-bound Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and former National champion S Raman were among his trainees. India’s top-ranked men’s paddler Sharath Kamal Achanta condoled the death of Chandra.
“We have lost a champion who fought death 37 years ago. Saddened to hear of the passing of V Chandrasekhar Sir. Table Tennis as a sport has lost a great mentor, coach and an amazing player. He made the sport famous in the early 80’s. Rest in Peace, Sir.”
Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) president Dushyant Chautala paid rich tributes to Chandrasekhar. “I was saddened to hear about Chandra’s demise. It was very unfortunate that table tennis has lost another person to the dreaded disease. We recently lost Suhas Kulkarni and now Chandra. He was a superb person, very soft-spoken and a good coach,” said Chautala.