Asian Games double gold medalist and Olympian Hari Chand passed away on Monday morning at the age of 69 in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. He has participated in two Olympic Games and also won two gold medals at the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games. He had topped in the 5000m and 10000m races in Bangkok Asiad.
He also had the national record for the 25-lapper set in the 1976 Olympic Games and that had stood for over 32 years. In the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, he had finished eighth in the 2nd Heat in the 10,000-metre race as he ended with a time of 28:48.72.
He also won a silver medal in the 5000-metre and gold in the 10,000-metre at the 1975 Asian Championships in Seoul, South Korea, where he beat his contemporary and compatriot Shivnath Singh, who was one of his fiercest rivals at the India and Asia level.
“He will always be remembered for his contribution to Indian athletics,” Mann
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has expressed his consolation over the death of the athlete. Mann said the double gold medalist from Hoshiarpur was the pride of Indian athletics and he would be a source of inspiration for the generations to come. He said, “Sad to hear about the demise of the double Asian Games gold medallist, Hari Chand. He will always be remembered for his contribution to Indian athletics and inspiring generations of athletes.”
“He was so competitive and yet so simple,” Singh
The Asian Games medal swimmer Khajan Singh, while talking to NDTV, spoke about the death of Hari Chand. He opened up about Chand’s competitive spirit and his ability to help younger athletes. Singh said, “It’s a great loss for Indian sport. In the CRPF, he was my superior. He was so competitive and yet so simple. He used to groom players everywhere he went. I personally learned a lot from him. He was like a guiding light to many of us.”
Senior journalist Norris Pritam also talked about Chand’s greatness as an athlete and a person. “He was quite a courageous athlete and had an amazing sense of humour. Even during the long training sessions, he used to crack jokes,” he said.