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Olympic hurdler and pioneer of India’s scientific sports training, Jagmohan Singh no more

Olympic hurdler and pioneer of India’s scientific sports training, Jagmohan Singh no more

Abhijit Nair

Published: 18 Nov 2020 5:59 AM GMT

Former Olympic hurdler and the pioneer of scientific training in sports in India, Jagmohan Singh passed away aged 88, owing to a heart attack at Patiala on Tuesday.

Jagmohan Singh represented India in the 110m hurdles during the 1960 Rome Olympics. He entered the 1960 Olympics as a national champion and held national records in 110m hurdles and decathlon at that time. Singh is also hugely credited for introducing scientific training methods for athletes in India.

“Jagmohan was a pioneer in Indian sports. He introduced scientific training methods, especially in athletics, but also in hockey and cycling. He was a very active man even at his old age. Recently he sent me research papers,” said Lalit Bhanot, who had served as secretary of the Athletics Federation of India for a long time.

Besides being a top class athlete, Singh also served at various capacities in Indian sports including as the joint director general of the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The current Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju poured in his condolences through twitter.

“Deeply saddened by the demise of Jagmohan Singh Ji who has a distinguished sporting career. He represented India in the 1960 Rome Olympics in the 110m hurdles. He also contributed immensely by introducing scientific training methods in SAI, Patiala. My deepest condolences,” tweeted Rijiju.

A B.Sc. degree holder, Singh served in Punjab Police for almost 10 years before joining NIS Patiala as a teacher in 1962. He had also cleared the Athletics Federation of India’s coaching course in the year 1956.

In the year 1965, Singh did a specialisation course in Physical Fitness and Sports Conditioning from the University of West Germany; it was after this that he introduced scientific training for athletes in India. He also worked as the chief athletics coach for the 1966 Commonwealth Games and the 1975 Asian Athletics Championships.

He was furthermore associated with the Indian hockey team in the 1970s as their physical conditioning coach and travelled with the team for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He was associated with NIS Patiala till 1990 and then was the Director of Sports for the Punjabi University for three years from 1990 to 1993. Besides, he later went on to serve as the physical conditioning expert for the Cycling Federation of India in 2001.

Jagmohan Singh was truly an all-rounder who gave his all for the development of Indian sports.

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