His illustrious profession had many medals and milestones however for hockey wizard Balbir Singh Sr, who died at 96 on Monday, the one second that meant greater than others was when he performed a starring position in claiming unbiased India’s maiden Olympic gold in the sport.
It occurred at the 1948 Olympics in London, a 12 months after India attained independence and Singh scored two of the 4 objectives that India pumped struck in the closing. It was towards the hosts, the nation, which had colonised India and Singh, at a commemorative perform right here in 2018, recalled the feelings it stirred up.
“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 had recalled at the Chandigarh Press Club right here.
“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 stated.
One of the best hockey gamers of all time, Singh received three Olympic gold medals in a stellar profession however by no means missed an opportunity to inform how particular the 1948 one was.
“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 stated.
Singh began his hockey profession as a goalkeeper earlier than shifting up as a full-back and ultimately a centre-forward.
The victorious staff had obtained a grand welcome from the Indian followers upon their return dwelling.
Singh had additionally recalled that how, regardless of being in great kind, he was not chosen amongst the 39 probables for the finals in 1948, forcing a few of his well-wishers to strategy the then Indian High Commissioner in London, V Okay Krishna Menon for his assist.
Singh stated that it was solely after Menon’s intervention that he was included in the taking part in eleven.
“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 stated that August 12, 1948 was the “greatest day in independent India’s sporting history”.
In 2018, Singh had additionally attended a particular screening of film ‘Gold’, a sports activities drama impressed by actual occasions of the 1948 Olympics.