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Obituary to Mohammad Shahid, India’s Hockey legend

The 56-year-old, who was battling kidney and liver problems, breathed his last on Wednesday at a Gurgaon hospital.

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Mohammad Shahid. Image Source: Twitter
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  • The 56-year-old, who was battling kidney and liver problems, breathed his last on Wednesday at a Gurgaon hospital.
  • He was part of the Vasudevan Baskaran-led Indian team that clinched the gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
  • Paying tributes to one of the best known hockey stars of the country, PM Narendra Modi said the government tried its best to save Shahid.

India’s hockey legend Mohammad Shahid was one of the greatest players of all time, was known for his excellent dribbling skills.

The 56-year-old, who was battling kidney and liver problems, breathed his last on Wednesday at a Gurgaon hospital.

Mohammad Shahid in his bed at Medanta Medicity Hospital. Image Source: www.mid-day.com
Mohammad Shahid in his bed at Medanta Medicity Hospital. Image Source: www.mid-day.com

He was part of the Vasudevan Baskaran-led Indian team that clinched the gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

The legend was battling for life after a bout of jaundice, after that dengue made his condition worse.

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Shahid, who was born in Varanasi, made his first appearance for India in 1979 at the Junior World Cup in France.

Hockey historian K Arumugam quoted The Indian Express, “India won all but one match to Pakistan during 1984 and 1985. The only time they lost was the Asia Cup final in Dhaka where five Indian players were suspended”.

Shahid made his first senior team appearance the same year in a four-nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur under Baskaran, after his inclusion in the team following his impressive performance in the Aga Khan Cup. His skills and love for the game was noticed by his seniors and coaches.

It was said that on the hockey field, if he was one of the most feared one, off it he was the most humble and down to earth person.

Zafar Iqbal. Image Source: Getty Images
Zafar Iqbal. Image Source: Getty Images

During his playing days, besides his dribbling skills, Shahid was also known for his running ability and push which was as fast as a hard hit.

His attacking partnership on the field with Zafar Iqbal was known to one and all.

He was awarded the ‘Best Forward player’ at the 1980 Champions Trophy in Karachi.

Hockey India tweet on Mohammad Shahid's Death. Image Source: Twitter
Hockey India tweet on Mohammad Shahid’s Death. Image Source: Twitter

He was a member of the team that won the gold at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, silver at the 1982 Asian Games and bronze at the 1986 Asian Games. He was able to make place in the Asian All-Star team in 1986 through his practice and skills. He also captained the Indian national team during the 1985-86 season.

He was also awarded the Arjuna Award in 1980-1981 and Padma Shri in 1986.

Later on, he became a sports officer with the Indian Railways in Varanasi.

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He had been admitted to SSL Hospital at Banaras Hindu University with severe stomach pain on June 29. As his condition did not improve, he was airlifted from Varanasi and admitted to the Medanta Medicity hospital in Gurgaon earlier this month.

He is survived by his wife Parveen Shahid and twins Mohammad Saif and Heena Shahid.

Paying tributes to one of the best known hockey stars of the country, PM Narendra Modi said the government tried its best to save Shahid.

PM Modi on demise of Mohammad Shahid. Image Source: www.tagthebird.com
PM Modi on demise of Mohammad Shahid. Image Source: www.tagthebird.com

“In the untimely and unfortunate demise of Mohammed Shahid, India has lost a talented sportsman who played with immense passion & vigour,” Modi tweeted.

“We tried our level best to save Mohammed Shahid but sadly, neither our help nor prayers were enough to save him. Tributes to him. RIP,” the Prime Minister added.

Hockey India also tweeted saying, “Hockey India grieves the untimely loss of India Hockey Legend Mohammed Shahid, who passed away today, 20 July 2016.” (IANS)

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Mary Kom aims to win a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics

Mary Kom stated that she is aiming to win a god medal in the 2020 Olympics.

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Mary Kom's goal to win the gold medal in the 2020 Olympics
Mary Kom's goal to win the gold medal in the 2020 Olympics. IANS

She has achieved almost everything that women’s boxing can offer, but five-time World Champion M.C. Mary Kom is still yearning for the greatest accolade in the world of sports — winning gold at the Olympics.

Mary’s only appearance at the Olympics came at the London Games in 2012 when women’s boxing was introduced for the first time at the quadrennial sports spectacle. Having moved up to the 51 kg category, she had ended up with a bronze medal.

She had admitted later that it was difficult to move out of her favourite 48 kg category — in which she had won her five world titles — but the change had to be made as it was not included at the Olympics or the Asian Games.

However, with the International Boxing Association (AIBA) debating over the prospect of including the 48 kilogram division at next year’s Asian Games and probably the 2020 Olympics, Mary is filled with renewed hope.

“I still have not won an Olympic gold. That is my ultimate target. I am working very hard with the 2020 Olympics in mind. I am trying my best. The rest is up to God,” the Manipur icon told IANS.

“As long as I am alive, winning gold at the Olympics will always be my greatest dream. That will remain a target till the end of my career,” she added.

Mary added another title to her already overflowing trophy cabinet recently by winning gold at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship — her fifth title at the continental level — and has now set her sights on defending her Asian Games title next year.

That may prove to be a tall task for the average athlete, specially at 35, an age widely considered old and over the hill for a physically demanding sport like boxing.

Mary, however, does not let such mundane details distract her from her goal. She is determined to overcome the problem of advancing age just as she has defeated every other obstacle that has come her way since childhood.

“My real strength is my will power. An athlete needs to be mentally strong. This is more so in my case as I have had to prove myself to people right from the beginning.

“I have had to face a lot of obstacles. First of all I am a girl, and as a result I had to fight initial disaproval from my family and society in general when I took up boxing. Then I got married which meant I had to adjust my schedule and lifestyle. Then I became a mother which meant more adjustment,” Mary said.

“Now I am fighting against age. At my age, it is a challenge to maintain fitness and compete against younger opponents. Now I have grown old for this sport. I have achieved a lot in my career. I have nothing left to prove. But I will keep on competing as long as my passion is alive. I want to wear the India jersey and contribute towards my country. I want to win medals for the country,” she added.

With India winning five gold and two bronze medals at the AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships last month, Mary is confident that changing social attitudes will see the country achieving even more glory in women’s boxing in future.

“Social attitudes towards female participation in sports is changing slowly. Earlier girls from the north, specially Haryana and even those from the south, used to face a lot problems from their families while taking up boxing. This is true even now to some extent. But attitudes have changed,” she asserted.

“People should let their daughters play sports. Only then we will win medals at the Olympics.” (IANS)