Mauritius and above all, Rodrigues has lost one of its illustrious athletes in the person of coach, Daniel André. Former Olympian during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Daniel André was best known for bringing Rodrigues sprinting to the forefront. Eric Milazar, Fernando Augustin, Henrico Louis have all passed through his school of sprinting.
At only 57 years old, the man who helped to set up the regional athletics center of Rodrigues or the sport-study system in the island, has gone.
Married and father of two boys, Daniel André was the Principal Youth Officer in Rodrigues and secretary of the regional athletics committee. A jack-of-all-trades in sports, Daniel André was a soccer player, practiced judoka and enjoyed running until he arrived in Mauritius in 1980 at the age of 16. He then attended the Saint Andrew College at Rue Ambrose, Rose-Hill, and was part of the college soccer team and in the afternoon ran in the cane fields at Ebène. He lived in Rose-Hill at the time.
He had distinguished himself in 200 and 400 m where he was the record holder of Mauritius in 48.7 from 1984 to 1987. He was one of the first Mauritians to go to the Olympic Games in 1984 in Los Angeles. In 1985, at the 2nd Indian Ocean Games, he was the first athlete from Rodrigues to take part in this event. He won three medals: two silver and one bronze in the 400, 4×400 and 200 m. The same year, he was decorated by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1992, he became a coach. He held the level 5 diploma (IAAF) and became a lecturer of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations).
The funeral of Daniel André will take place at 3:00 pm this Friday, September 22 at the Cathedral of Saint-Gabriel.
Le Matinal Media extends its deepest sympathies to the André family.
Judex Lefou, former national record holder in the 110m hurdles: “The athletics of Rodrigues and Mauritius has lost a great man
“I am very saddened by the death of Daniel. It was a shock for me when Vivian (Gungaram) told me about it at about 7am on the phone. I knew Daniel in 1984, especially when he was going to participate in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. I was just starting out at Rose Hill Stadium. Then he was in Ron Davis’ group. Great athlete in the 400, the first to go under 50 seconds, I think.”
Gilles Brelu-Brelu, former sprinter: “We became not just opponents but friends.”
“The first time I saw Daniel, he had won at intercollegiate sports. After that, he had come to Rose-Hill Stadium to train with us. A few years later, he was at the Olympics. He broke Norbert Barbe’s record in the 400m. I went to see him every time I went to Rodrigues. It is really a very sad news.
Vivian Gungaram, assistant secretary of the Mauritius Athletics Association: “It is a huge loss for Mauritius and Rodrigues”
“I considered Daniel as my son. He was a member of the athletics family but also of the Gungaram family. He lived with us for two years when he was an athlete and student. It is very sad. Daniel has conducted many operations in Rodrigues. It is a huge loss for Mauritius and Rodrigues.”