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Chandigarh: Balbir Singh Sr, one of many nation’s best hockey gamers who handed away on Monday, was overwhelmed by a way of patriotism when he recalled independent India’s first Olympic gold within the sport in 1948 London Games, precisely 70 years after the triumph.

Singh, who gained three Olympic gold medals in a stellar profession, died on the age of 96 at a hospital in Mohali on Monday morning after battling a number of well being points for over two weeks.

On August 12, 2018, precisely 70 years after independent India had gained its first Olympic gold in hockey in London, Singh went down the reminiscence lane to remember the feat.

“The event happened 70 years ago, but it feels like only yesterday. I still remember the feeling when the Indian flag was hoisted at the 1948 Olympics when we beat Britain 4-0,” Singh had mentioned.

“As our national anthem was being played and the tri-colour was going up, I felt that I too was flying with the flag. The sense of patriotism that I felt was beyond any other feeling in the world,” he added.

Singh, who began his hockey profession as a goalkeeper earlier than transferring up as a full-back and finally a centre-forward, had mentioned that the maiden Olympic gold was particular as that they had defeated India’s as soon as colonial masters within the ultimate.

The victorious group had acquired a grand welcome from the Indian followers upon their return dwelling.

A commemorative perform was organised on the Chandigarh Press Club right here, of which he was a honorary member, in August 2018 to mark the 70th anniversary of the occasion when the tri-colour was hoisted for the first time in London’s Wembley stadium.

India had defeated Britain to say the Olympic gold in males’s hockey, a win through which Singh performed a key function by scoring two targets.

Singh had recalled that regardless of being in super type he was not chosen among the many 39 probables for the finals in 1948, forcing a few of his nicely wishers to method the then Indian High Commissioner in London, V Ok Krishna Menon for his assist.

Singh had mentioned that it was solely after Menon’s intervention and a loud hue and cry, he was finally included within the taking part in eleven.

“It was a proud moment for all of us when we defeated England, which had until a year ago ruled India for a long period, on their own turf (in 1948),” Singh had mentioned.

“I still remember that before the match started, the Wembley stadium was reverberating with the noise of English fans. As we took an early lead and later on pumped in another goal, after the half time, some English fans started rooting for India, saying make it half a dozen goals,” he remembered.

Singh had mentioned that August 12, 1948 was the “greatest day in independent India’s sporting history”.

Notably, in 2012 London Olympics, the enduring centre ahead was honoured as the one Indian amongst 16 chosen Olympic legends throughout fashionable Olympic historical past.

His world document for many targets scored by a person within the males’s hockey ultimate of the Olympics nonetheless stays unbeaten. He had scored 5 targets in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands within the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.

In 2018, Singh had additionally attended a particular screening of film ‘Gold’, a drama impressed by actual occasions of the 1948 Olympics when independent India had gained its first Olympic gold medal in area hockey.



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