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Asiad medalist and Dhyan Chand awardee Hakam Singh Bhattal passes away

Asiad medalist and Dhyan Chand awardee Hakam Singh Bhattal passes away

Akshat Mehrish

Published: 14 Aug 2018 7:44 AM GMT
Former Asian Games gold medalist and Dhyan Chand Awardee Hakam Singh Bhattal has today, August 14, passed away. Singh was known for his gold medal, which he won at the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games in the 20 Km walk race. The former athlete had been in the hospital for a long time and was battling from Liver and Kidney ailments. Singh was admitted to a private hospital in Sangrur and initially had received no assistance from the state government. However, news of the situation had reached Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore who had asked for help to be provided to the 1978 Asiad gold medalist.
Hakam Singh Bhattal had won the Gold medal for India at the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok. His medal came in the 20km Walk, an event which is relatively unknown to Indians. Singh also created a new record with his walk. His good form carried over to a couple more years, as he won the Gold medal at the Asian Track and Field Meeting in Tokyo. Singh's contribution to Indian sports cannot be taken lightly. The former athlete switched to coaching after his promising career was cut short after an accident. After the incident, he hung up his boots and helped others shape their careers in sports. Apart from coaching, Singh also served in the army, as well as, the police. The Asiad champion was recognised for his contribution to sports by President Pratibha Patil as he was awarded the Dhyan Chand Award. Speaking to
Times of India
during the peak period of his illness earlier last month, Singh’s wife Beant Kaur slated the state government for failing to provide any help. “My husband has not got any financial assistance from the state government for his treatment. His liver is almost damaged,” Kaur told TOI. As of today morning, India has lost a champion. Hakam Singh Bhattal took a sport relatively unknown to the nation and made his name through it. The gold-medalist did not cut off his ties with the field even after a horrible accident and kept on fighting. He will be cremated in his native village Bhattal of Barnala. May he rest in peace.
Also read: State government fails to help, as Asiad gold medalist Hakam Singh Bhattal fights for his life
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