Indian sprinter Kenneth Powell has died at the age of 82 ©Getty Images

Indian sprinter Kenneth Powell has died at the age of 82 in Bengaluru due to an age-related illness.

Powell, nicknamed the Gentleman Sprinter, competed at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games as part of his country's 4x100 metres men's relay team, which made it into the semi-finals of the competition.

He also ran in the individual 100m and 200m sprint events but could not make it to the finals.

Powell earned his first major international medal at the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok as a member of the 4x100m quartet that won bronze.

"Indian athletics grew in stature back in the 1960s because of the efforts of athletes like Kenny Powell who won 19 titles in sprint events in the National Open Championships and National Inter-State Championships," Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla said.

Referred to as the Gentleman Sprinter due to his calm demeanour, Powell was born on April 20 1940.

His first major breakthrough came at the 1957 National School Games in Calcutta when he finished third before turning heads at the National Inter-State Athletics Championships by winning the 100m and 200m races in 1963 which led to Olympic selection.

In 1965, he became the first person from his home state Karnataka to win the Arjuna Award - India's second-highest honour for sportspeople after the Khel Ratna.

Powell retired after his podium finish at Bangkok 1970 but went on represent Karnataka in the National Handball Championships in 1975.

He also won 100m silver at the 1981 Asian Masters Athletics event in Singapore for the 40-44 age group.