Former para-badminton player Ramesh Tikaram died of coronavirus in a hospital in Bengaluru on Thursday, Para-Badminton India president N C Sudhir said.

“We are sorry to inform you that Ramesh Tikaram passed away this afternoon...” Sudhir said in a statement.

Tikaram was 51 and is survived by wife and two children.

The country’s first para-badminton player to be honoured with an Arjuna award, Tikaram was admitted to a private hospital on June 29 after complaining of fever and cough.

One of the sportsman’s friend K Y Venkatesh said Tikaram was instrumental in bringing the international para-badminton tournament to the country in 2001.