The 75-year-old coach has been moulding international and national jumpers for more than four decades.
Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the country's first individual gold at the quadrennial event, was the most glorious chapter of his reign as the national coach.
The Dronacharaya Awardee was 79.
The former Air Force officer played a big role in moulding Usha into India's most prolific athlete on the international arena.
This year a whopping 74 winners were picked for the national honours. Of these, 60 attended the virtual ceremony conducted across 11 Sports Authority of India centres in various cities.
Rai coached top athletes such as Olympian quartermiler Vandana Rao, heptathlete Pramila Aiyappa, Ashwini Nachappa, Murali Kuttan, M K Asha, E B Shyla, Rosa Kutty and G G Pramila.