Hockey icon Balbir Singh Sr dies at 95

Three-time Olympic gold medal-winning hockey legend was battling multiple health issues for over two weeks

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Balbir Singh Sr. File photo

Chandigarh, May 25: Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr, a three-time gold medallist at the Olympics, died today morning at the age of 95 in a Mohali hospital. One of the greatest hockey players of all time, Singh had been battling several age-related health problems for over two weeks. He breathed his last at 6.17am.

Singh was under observation at a private hospital in Mohali after suffering a cardiac arrest earlier this month. He was admitted to the hospital in a very serious state with multiple organ failure due to bronchial pneumonia. While in hospital, he had suffered back-to-back mild cardiac arrests.

He was under ventilator support since May 12 and had tested negative for Covid-19.

He will be cremated at the Sector 25 crematorium with full state honours at 5.30 pm on Monday.

The veteran Olympian had tweeted a message on April 5 praying for safety of all amidst covid-19 outbreak

Last year also he spent 108 days in Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (RICU) due to bronchial pneumonia at PGIMER.

He lived with his daughter Sushbir Bhomia and grandson Kabir Singh Bhomia at his Sector 36 residence in Chandigarh.

One of the country’s greatest athletes, Singh became the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across the modern Olympic history. His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics remains unbeaten. Singh had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1957 and was the manager of India’s World Cup-winning team in 1975.