Lucknow: Not all matches are meant to be won. Perhaps a loss in the match of life was coming and it came for Ravinder Pal Singh at times when the world has been fighting against COVID – 19. Hard pressed for funds and with his parameters failing, Ravinder passed away at Swami Vivekananda Polyclinic at the age of 65.
A former India hockey player and part of the 1980 Moscow Olympics-winning team, he died battling COVID-19 for two weeks.
Having recovered from COVID – 19 he was in the non-COVID ward after testing negative. With his condition deteriorated he was put on a ventilator.
Condoling the death Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted on the death of the double Olympian – “I’m deeply saddened to learn that Shri Ravinder Pal Singh ji has lost the battle to Covid19. With his passing away India loses a golden member of the hockey team that won Gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. His contribution to Indian sports will always be remembered.”
Born in Sitapur, Singh excelled as a centre-half from 1979 to 1984.
Ravinder Pal played in all major tournaments in the 1980s, including the Karachi Champions Trophy (1980 & 1983), Silver Jubilee 10-Nation Cup (Hong Kong, 1983), World Cup (Mumbai, 1982), Asia Cup (Karachi, 1982), the India-Pakistan Test series in 1981 and the Malaysian quadrangular series in 1980.
Singh, who also played 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was unmarried and is survived by niece, Pragya Yadav.
He is son of Ritu Pal Singh. He has one elder sister, Saraswati Devi, and elder brother Rajendra Pal Singh.
Ravinder Pal retired from international hockey after the 1984 Olympics. This was due to a chronic spinal injury which made playing on turf harder every time. At the domestic front he played for a few more years, playing in the Kolkata league and State Bank of India. He dabbled in coaching with departmental teams in the police and the Army, before calling it a day.