Coronavirus | Hockey

Moscow Olympic gold medallist Ravinder Pal Singh succumbs to COVID-19

Indian field hockey player Ravinder Pal Singh (circa 1985)   | Photo Credit: D. KRISHNAN

Former India hockey player Ravinder Pal Singh, a member of the 1980 Moscow Olympics-winning side, passed away at a Lucknow hospital early on Saturday. He was 61.

Singh had tested positive for COVID on April 24 and had been hospitalised since then. He had been shifted to a non-COVID ICU on Thursday after testing negative but his conditions suddenly deteriorated and he had to be put on ventilator on Friday.

A two-time Olympian — he was also part of the 1984 LA Olympics — the Sitapur-born Singh was only 20 when he became an Olympic gold medallist. A product of the Lucknow Sports Hostel and a contemporary of Mohammed Shahid, Singh was known for his speed and interception.

Keeping away

Employed with State Bank of India, Singh had taken early retirement and is survived by his niece Pragya Yadav, having remained unmarried. He withdrew completely from the sport or anyone associated with it once he quit hockey.

The last time he was seen in public was at a function some months back organised by R.P. Singh, another of hockey stalwarts from U.P. and the current State sports director. It was a rare occasion for someone who, in his own words a few years ago, “hardly watched any hockey”. In his later years, he was more into football, perhaps a throwback to his father who was also a football player.

On field, it was his speed and interception and off it, his ability to avoid people that made Ravinder Pal Singh unique. Sadly, he could not evade COVID.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 5:44:31 AM |

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