Two members of India’s last Olympic gold medal-winning hockey team in Moscow 1980, Ravindra Pal Singh and Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, have died from coronavirus on the same day.
Their families said they died hours apart on Saturday: Singh, 60, in the northern city of Lucknow and Kaushik, 66, later in New Delhi. Both had been on ventilators in hospitals.
India has been battling a huge surge in infections in recent weeks with new deaths passing 4,000 for the first time on Saturday.
Kaushik went on to coach the India men’s side to gold at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. He also coached the women’s side that took bronze at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
Singh also played for India at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, but retired because of chronic back injuries.
“His contribution to Indian sports will always be remembered,” said Sports Minister Kiren Rijuju in a tribute.