Former Malaysian Indian weightlifter killed in accident

October 8th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 8 (IANS) India-born Harbans Singh, who died in a road accident in Petaling Jaya Monday at the age of 73, was the first Malaysian to win three gold medals in weightlifting at a multi-event sports meet over 30 years ago.Singh had won three gold medals at the 1975 Seap Games in Bangkok which was all the more impressive given that he was 40 at the time.

The feat was unmatched until Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim bagged three gold medals at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, The News Straits Times said in its obituary column.

Singh competed in six Seap Games from 1965 to 1975, compiling a personal tally of four gold and three silver medals.

Besides the three gold medals in the heavyweight category in 1975, Singh also took the overall gold in the same category on home ground at the 1971 Kuala Lumpur Seap Games.

His first medal, a silver, came at the 1967 Games in Bangkok before two more silvers — in 1969 in Rangoon and in 1973 in Singapore.

“Harbans was the type of sportsman who did not do it for personal glory but for the nation. There was no monetary award to speak of at that time, the only satisfaction he derived was bringing joy to people by winning,” said Malaysian Hockey Federation vice-president S.S. Cheema, who was in the stands when Harbans Singh won his first Seap Games gold medal at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in 1971.

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