New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Saturday saluted the legendary Shot Putter Bahadur Singh who recently retired from the post of national chief coach.
Hailing the efforts of the 74-year-old Asian Games gold medallist shot putter, Rijiju recalled that he had been motivated by Bahadur Singh's feat to be a shot putter himself during his school days.
"Bahadur Singh has been an inspirational personality over five decades and rendered great service with his commitment, dedication, and discipline," said Rijiju at a virtual farewell of Bahadur Singh.
Rijiju also posted an old video on microblogging site Twitter, where he can be seen interacting with the athletes along with then athletics chief coach Bahadur Singh.
"My salute to legendary Shot Putter Bahadur Singh ji who retired as Chief Coach of Indian Athletics. Between 1973-85 he won 3 Gold, 2 Silver, 3 Bronze at Asian Games and Asian Championships and reached finals at 1980 Moscow Olympics. He played for 2 decades and coached for 3 decades," Rijiju tweeted.
Athletics legends Sriram Singh, PT Usha, and Anju Bobby George too shared their memories of Bahadur Singh.
The 1976 Olympic Games 800m finalist, Sriram Singh recalled they had both started their Asian Games careers in Tehran in 1974 and completed the NIS coaching diploma in 1980.
"He was already a renowned athlete and inspired everyone with his hard work and dedication to training. As a chief coach, he would motivate the coaches to do their best," said Usha.
"We were trying to communicate in sign language but unable to understand one another, but he folded his hands in prayer and asked me to jump. I secured bronze," said India's first World Athletics Championships medalist Anju Bobby George.
Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Dhruv Batra recalled watching Bahadur Singh be a self-reliant man despite being 73 years of age during the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018.
He complimented the retired chief coach for creating a great culture in the Indian athletics camps and for his achievements.
IOA Secretary-General Rajiv Mehta said he would remember Bahadur Singh as always smiling and, with his simple approach, helping Indian athletics. (ANI)