Ranjit Bhatia, a sportsman, educationist and sports journalist, passed away here on Sunday. He was 78.
Bhatia, a Rhodes Scholar, was one a well known middle and long distance runner in the 1960s. He made waves by beating fancied Jarnail Singh to the second place in an athletic meet at Allahabad before losing the subsequent race in Delhi. An Oxford Blue, he made headlines in England too.
Following some of his excellent performance in the UK, Bhatia was picked to represent India in the 5000m at the Rome Olympic in 1960. He also ran the marathon at Rome.
A contemporary of Milkha Singh, Gurbachan Singh Randhawa and Pan Singh, Bhatia taught mathematics at the St. Stephen’s College and old timers recall him running from his home (in Defence Colony) to the college.
“He was an inspiration to youngsters,” said former athlete and coach Capt. K.B. Dogra.
Bhatia was a regular columnist in different newspapers and had covered the Olympics in 1976 and 1984 apart from the Asian Games in 1990.
An avid promoter of athletics, he reported inter college meets in Delhi with equal passion. — Special Correspondent
This article has been corrected for factual error