Gurbachan Singh Randhawa resigns as chairman of AFI's selection committee
1962 Asian Games medalist Gurbachan Singh Randhawa resigned as Chairman of the selection committee of AFI after 18 years.
Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, one of the country's track and field legends, on Tuesday, said he has resigned as the chairman of the Athletics Federation of India's selection committee owing to his "advancing age".
The 84-year-old, who won a gold medal at the 1962 Asian Games in the decathlon and finished a creditable fifth in the 110-meter hurdles event at the 1964 Olympics, said his advancing age is "making it difficult for me to give the job my 100 percent".
"I have resigned as the chairman of the Athletics Federation of India selection committee after serving in the position for 18 years," he said in a press release.
"I think it is the right time for me to hand over the reins to a younger person at a time when Indian athletics is at a very exciting stage of its evolution."
He expressed his elation at India's "evolution" in athletics and reserved special mention for Neeraj Chopra and Anju Bobby George.
"I am truly delighted that we now have two World Athletics Championships medallists in Anju Bobby George and Neeraj Chopra. The cherry on the cake, of course, is Chopra's Olympic Games gold medal in Tokyo 2020. "After several near misses, including that of my friend the late Milkha Singh in 1960 and PT Usha in 1984, Chopra made all our dreams come true.
"Besides India's successes in the Asian Games, Asian Championships, and South Asian Games, we have also seen how the robust junior program, with the National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet as a fabulous competition at the entry-level, has led to successes in age-group competitions both at the Asian and world levels. "There can be no better time for me to bid farewell."
Randhawa, who was the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, achieved four national records within two days. He was bestowed the Arjuna Award in 1961 and Padma Shri in 2005.
"Athletics has been in my veins from my childhood, and I am privileged that I could serve the sport in various capacities. "I have been associated with the Athletics Federation of India for 63 years as an athlete, coach, government observer, and chairman of the selection committee I look back at the six decades with great pride and humility that I was able to serve track and field sport in our country in various capacities.
"I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement of everyone in my long association with the Athletics Federation of India. My coaches and contemporaries spring to mind first. I must say that I have had the fortune of learning from each of the athletes who I have had the privilege of training," he concluded.