Malaysian Great Ghenda Singh Dies at 89

>> October 12, 2011

Hammer thrower Ghenda Singh
Ghenda Singh, one of the greatest hammer throwers ever produced by Malaysia died at 89 on October 09, 2011, after a short illness as reported by local media. It's about one year after the death of another great Malaysian athlete in the past Datuk Gabuh bin Pigging.

Ghenda was born in India at August 21, 1922 but migrated to Malaysia (Malaya at the time) twenty years later (1942) with the Indian army. He later served as policeman and when the country became independent in 1957 he gained an auto citizenship and maintained the post until his retirement in 1977. Despite of retired from the professional work he actually had not yet retired as a professional athlete at the time, something that only a few on earth could achieve.

Most of Malaysian today are not even aware about the greatness of this special man who represented Malaysia in five editions of SEA Games, and in fact he was able to maintain his great strength and power until at age of 55 where he won the bronze at hammer throw (41.60m) in the 1977 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. And that was in spite of suffered a severe injury of his pectoral (see photo), and was advised by doctor to not compete ... he took painkiller, compete, and won the bronze !!

About ten years earlier on July 08, 1967 (at 45) he threw a personal best of 44.38m in hammer throw, and bettered his old national record 44.14m. In the same year, he took the first national title after winning the MAAU/National meet at Alor Star, thrown the iron ball at a distance of 42.94m. He did not win the previous national meets as his event was dominated by strong foreign athletes like Muhammad Iqbal of Pakistan, a world class thrower at the days with a PB of 63.10m.

Ghenda however shortly retired from his career as an athlete but then became a great mentor to his son Samreet Singh Dhaliwal.  As his father, Samreet became a great hammer thrower and earned at least two gold medals in SEA Games out of five appearances in the games in which the other three editions he bagged home all silver medals. He achieved a lifetime best of 51.14m  on November 04, 1988 at Kuala Lumpur.

Following are detailed achievements and profile of the late Ghenda Singh;

GHENDA SINGH JUAH (other spelling, GENDA)
Born: 21 August 1922, in India
Residence: Ipoh, Perak
Height: 1.82m
Weight: 108kg *
Personal bests:
Hammer Throw - 44.38m (Penang, 1967)
Shot Put - 12.45m (Penang, 1967)
*body weight during career

SEA Games achievements
1965 Kuala Lumpur: 38.78m Silver Medal
1967 Bangkok: 42.44m Silver Medal
1971 Kuala Lumpur: 39.78 Fourth Place
1973 Singapore: 41.22m Bronze Medal
1977 Kuala Lumpur: 41.60m Bronze Medal
*before 1977 known as SEAP Games

by Jad Adrian (Track & Field Statistician)

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