Genda Singh, the famous national hammer thrower passed away at the University Medical Center last night. He was 89 years old and leaves behind a wife, five sons and a daughter to mourn his loss.

Genda started competing for Malaysia in 1960 and only called it quits after the 1977 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. And what was more remarkable was the fact that he won the bronze medal at the 1977 SEA Games when he was 55 years old.

Despite the fact that Genda  was nursing an injury, a pectoral muscle tear, he competed at the games against medical advice. Having to rely solely on painkillers and determination, Genda defied all odds in what was his final appearance in the regional meet.

He passed down his knowledge and tips to his son Samret Singh who went on to win the gold medal at the 1985 and 1989 SEA Games, something that Genda could not achieve but was proud to see his son excel.

Samret said that his father’s achievement in competing at the top level until the age of 55 years is unsurpassed by any athlete then and now.

“He was a fighter and never knew when to give up. He always emphasise on excellence and had nothing but the desire to excel in whatever task he undertook. I am happy to have had the opportunity to take over from him. That had been his desire and I am proud to have carried on with the legacy with distinction,” he said.

Not many athletes or officials of the present generation were even born when Genda started bringing honours for the country. He was equally good at discuss and shot putt in the 60s and 70s.

Genda came from an era of top athletes, with the likes of Tan Sri Dr Mani Jegathesan, G. Rajalingam, Asir Victor. T. Krishnan, M. Rajamani, Cheryl Dorral, Rajemah Sheikh Ahmad and M. Dataya gracing the sports arena.

Born in India, Genda  came to Malaya in 1942 with the Indian Army. He joined the Police Force after World War Two and opted to stay in Ipoh, Perak. He remained a constable until 1977 when he retired from the force.

Those who wish to pay their last respects to the late Genda can do so at his son’s residence at No 2, Jalan BRP 4/10, Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungei Buloh, 47000, Selangor.

The cottage will leave the house at 10.00am on Wednesday to the Jalan Loke Yew Cemetary in Kuala Lumpur. Samret can be contacted at Tel: 012-3377056.