Asian Games gold medallist athlete Hakam Singh Bhattal on Tuesday died at a private hospital in Sangrur, Punjab aged 64. He had been undergoing treatment for liver and kidney ailments for a while.
Singh won gold in 20-kilometre race walk event during the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok. He awardee had also served as Havaldar in the 6 Sikh regiment. Hakam continued to rule the continent, winning gold in the Asian Athletics Championships in Tokyo 1979.
After establishing himself as one of the finest track and field athletes in India at the time, he was forced to hang up his boots in 1981 after an accident and went on to become a coach. He was conferred with the Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement in sports in 2008. Punjab Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi expressed grief over Singh’s demise.