India lost two of its heroes from the 1980 Olympic gold medallist hockey team – Ravinder Pal Singh and Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, within a span of few hours, with both of them succumbing to Covid-19. As reported, both of them were hospitalised and on ventilation after testing positive for the virus.
Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, a part of India’s gold medal-winning team at the 1980 Tokyo Olympics, who had also coached the Indian men’s and women’s team during the 1990s and 2000s, passed away due to COVID-19 related issues, last Saturday.
Under the Arjuna Awardee, the Indian men’s team won top honours in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, while the eves claimed a Bronze medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. Indian hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay expressed condolences after the huge loss to Indian hockey.
"I'm numb with pain and shock with the passing away of MK Kaushik sir. He inspired many generations of hockey players, first as a player and then a coach. A fine winger and a finer coach, he will always live in our memories. Bangkok Asian Games Gold medallist coach," tweeted Dhanraj Pillay.
In a span of few hours, Kaushik’s teammate from the 1980 squad - Ravinder Pal Singh, also died from coronavirus. As per reports, both of them were hospitalised and were on ventilation. Ravinder also represented India at the 1984 Los Angeles Games but took retirement because of chronic back injuries.
“He possessed all the skills. But what caught my eye was the graceful nature of his game and he had a big contribution to our success. He was quick in attack and gelled perfectly with the players around his position – like myself (left half), MM Somaya (right half), Mohammed Shahid (inside left) and Merwyn Fernandes (inside right),” said Vasudevan Bhaskaran, the skipper of the men’s hockey team at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.