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'He leaves rich legacy behind': Narinder Batra on Balbir Singh's demise

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New Delhi | May 25, 2020 11:41:50 AM IST
Narinder Batra, president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on Monday condoled the demise of hockey legend Balbir Singh and said that the veteran has left behind a rich legacy.

Batra is also the president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

"It is with an overwhelming sense of sadness that I condole the death of hockey legend Balbir Singh Dosanjh, a three-time Olympic Games gold medal winner with the Indian team. It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I will remember the way he played the game, shared his knowledge when coaching teams, and conducted himself off the pitch," Batra said in an official statement.

"I will cherish the simplicity, humility, and pride that he brought to bear in his own charming way. His ready wit and willingness to share his vast knowledge were stand out features. Indeed, Balbir Singh Ji leaves behind a rich legacy that cuts across all sport and physical boundaries," he added.

The veteran hockey player had suffered a cardiac arrest on May 12 and after that, he suffered two more cardiac arrests during the course of his admission in the hospital.

"Balbir Singh passed away this morning," his grandson Kabir said in a statement on Monday.

Balbir Singh was a three-time Olympic gold-medal winning champion. He played a key role in India's Olympic victories in London (1948), as a vice-captain in Helsinki (1952) and as the captain in Melbourne (1956).

In his illustrious playing career from 1947-1958, Balbir Sr. won 61 international caps and scored a whopping 246 goals.

As vice-captain of the team in 1952, he scored a hat-trick against Britain in the semifinals and five of India's goals in its 6-1 win against Holland in the final.

It is a record for the most goals in an Olympic Games hockey final.

He was also the manager of the 1975 World Cup-winning team.

He was also named as one of the 16 iconic olympians by the International Olympic Committee in 2012. (ANI)

 
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