Born on 4 February 1944 in Selangor Datuk Punch Gunalan received his primary and secondary education at King George V School in Seremban and sat for the HSC examinations in 1963. He furthered his studies in the United Kingdom in 1964 and graduated in mechanical engineering from Brighton Technology College, Sussex, England, in 1967.
His involvement in badminton began in the early 1960s with the Negeri Sembilan Badminton championship for singles, doubles and mixed doubles (1961-1963). He became a junior champion of the Asia Badminton Championship (ABC) in Kuala Lumpur in 1962.
His success in badminton in 1969 enabled him to be awarded the National Sportsman Award. In 1970, he represented the Thomas Cup squad but unfortunately lost to Indonesia in the finals in Kuala Lumpur. However, he won the doubles gold medal at the Asian Games in 1970. He also played with the National Thomas Cup squad of 1973. Datuk Punch Gunalan was also outstanding in 1974 when he won gold in the singles and bronze in the doubles event at the Commonwealth Championships, Christchurch, New Zealand and was awarded the National Sportsman Award for the second time.
After he quit playing, Datuk Punch Gunalan was involved in coaching and became the Head Coach for the Malaysia Thomas Cup team in 1992. From 1985 to 1997, he was appointed honorary secretary of the Badminton Association of Malaysia. He is now active in the Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC) as Honorary Secretary and Vice President of the International Badminton Federation (IBF) from 1999 to present.
Tokoh Pengkisahan Sejarah Piala Thomas
27 April 2000
Arkib Negara Malaysia