Former hockey umpire Anupama Punchimanda succumbs to COVID-19 at 40

Anupama had officiated in junior women's World Cup and the Asia Cup among other major hockey events.

By Naveen Peter

One of India’s former international hockey umpires Anupama Punchimanda lost her battle with COVID-19 in Bengaluru on Sunday. She was 40!

Punchimanda, a former national level player, took to officiating early in her career and excelled as an umpire. 

She oversaw a number of big-ticket events like the 2005 Junior Women’s World Cup in Santiago, Chile, the 2013 Hockey World League Round II in New Delhi and the 2013 Women’s Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

“Anupama Punchimanda was one of the first few women in India to umpire at very reputed international tournaments,” Hockey India president Gyanendro Ningombam said in a statement.

“We at Hockey India share the grief of her family and friends and we extend our deepest condolences to Anupama's family members.”

Punchimanda’s death comes just a few days after former Indian footballer and Olympian Ahmed Hussain died following complications related to the novel coronavirus. Hussain was 89 years old.

India have been dealing with a second wave of COVID-19 over the past few weeks with the ministry of health and family welfare reporting 1.8 million active cases as on April 18 with 177,150 reported deaths.