Former Olympian hurdler and national athletics coach Jagmohan Singh dies

Credited with introducing scientific methods in training to athletics and hockey, the former hurdles champion served Indian sports in various capacities post his retirement.

By Naveen Peter

Former Olympian and a national champion athlete, Jagmohan Singh died following a cardiac arrest on Tuesday. He was 88.

Jagmohan Singh, who represented India at the Rome 1960 Olympics, was a hurdles champion during his prime. He held the national records in 110m hurdles and decathlon.

After hanging up his spikes post Rome 1960, the Indian track and field athlete continued his association with the sports in various capacities.

He was later known for his novel approach to training and recovery in athletics and other sports.

“Jagmohan was a pioneer in Indian sports. He introduced scientific training methods, not only in athletics but also in hockey and cycling,” Lalit Bhanot, the former secretary of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) told PTI.

“He was a very active man even at his old age. Recently he sent me research papers and was keen on helping improve our efforts for the athletes.”

Jagmohan Singh joined the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in 1962. Part of the track and field coaching staff at the NIS, the Indian Olympian was in-charge of the sprinters and hurdlers in the national camp for nearly 20 years.

He was also the chief athletics coach at the 1966 Commonwealth Games and 1975 Asian Athletics Championships, where India finished only behind Japan in the medals tally.

Jagmohan Singh was named the fitness and physical conditioning coach of the Indian hockey team in 1973 and he accompanied the team to the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, the team’s first-ever competition on astroturf.

Jagmohan Singh was later appointed as the Dean Teaching at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and served at NIS till 1990.

Lately, the Indian Olympian served as the physical conditioning advisor of the Cycling Federation of India.

“Jagmohan Singh’s death leaves the athletics fraternity poorer,” AFI president Adille J. Sumariwalla said. “He was always willing to share his vast knowledge and we will miss his wise counsel.”