Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr. suffers cardiac arrest

The 96-year-old continues to be on ventilator assistance in hospital.

Balbir Singh at his residence in Chandigarh on February 26, 2020.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr. on Tuesday suffered a cardiac arrest and his condition remains critical, his grandson Kabir said in a medical update. The 96-year-old, a triple Olympic gold medallist, was hospitalised in Mohali on May 8.

Nanaji was admitted on Friday in a very serious multi-organ affected state. His condition had improved slightly but was and is still critical now. Doctors will be continuously assessing his condition over the next 24-48 hours, before any further statements about his condition are issued. He continues to be on ventilator assistance,” said Kabir.

In January last year, Balbir Sr. was discharged from PGI after spending 108 days in the hospital, where he underwent treatment for bronchial pneumonia. One of the country’s tallest athletes, Balbir Sr. was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across the modern Olympic history.

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His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten. He had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.

He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1957 and was also the manager of India’s World Cup-winning team in 1975.

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