Olympic gold medallist Balbir Singh Sr hospitalized; in coma

Image Courtesy: News Nation/bharatiyahockey.org

While India is already fighting the threat from the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the country’s sporting fraternity receives an unfortunate news. Balbir Singh Sr, former Indian hockey player and Olympic gold medallist has been reported to be in coma, and has been hospitalised in Mohali.

Image Courtesy: News Nation/bharatiyahockey.org

The 96 year old, who captained the Indian Field Hockey Team at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, is currently under a semi-comatose condition, with medical report stating that he has a blood clot in his brain, in addition to a number of other health complications.

Singh Sr, who has been admitted to Fortis hospital in Mohali since 8th May after catching high fever, suffering a cardiac arrest last Tuesday. The veteran hockey icon has since been under ventilation as it was confirmed by Singh’s maternal grandson Kabir on Monday evening.

“Hemodynamically near stable but condition is critical. No further cardiac events since last update. MRI brain report shows a small fresh blood clot in the brain which is insufficient to explain continued unconsciousness. He is currently in semi-comatose condition,” Kabir spoke to Times of India.

After his first cardiac arrest Tuesday, Singh Sr suffered two more on Wednesday, but there have been no more reports since then. However, pneumonia patches were detected in his lungs.

“Treatment is being attempted. He continues to be on ventilator support. Doctors are continuously assessing his condition,” Kabir added.

Singh Sr sustained bronchial pneumonia back in 2019 January, and he had underwent treatment at the PGIMER in Chandigarh for more than three months.

Balbir Singh Sr is a decorated hockey star and one of India’s greatest players ever in the sport. He has won gold at the Olympics three times. His maiden Olympic gold came at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, followed by the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics in Helsinki and Melbourne respectively.

The prolific centre forward also won a silver medal at the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo.

Singh Sr also coached India to victory at the 1975 Men’s Hockey World Cup, defeating Pakistan 2-1 at the final in Malaysia.

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