Ajmer Singh (athlete)

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Ajmer Singh
Born (1940-02-01)February 1, 1940
Kup Kalan, Sangrur district, Punjab
Died January 26, 2010(2010-01-26) (aged 69)
Nationality Indian
Occupation sprinter, academic
Olympic medal record
Men's Athletics
Representing  IND
1966 Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 1966 Bangkok 400 m
Silver medal – second place 1966 Bangkok 200 m

Ajmer Singh (February 1, 1940 – January 26, 2010) was an Indian sprinter who competed in the 1964 Summer Olympics, was a gold medalist at the 1966 Asian Games, in Bangkok, and later served as Director of Sports, Punjab University, Chandigarh.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in a Jat Sikh farmer family of Kartar Singh Aulakh and Bachan Kaur Aulakh, at Kup Kalan village in the Sangrur district of Punjab[2][3]

He graduated from Government College, Malerkotla, and later did his Bachelor of Physical Education (B.P.E.] from Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Gwalior. This was followed by M.A. from Punjab University, Chandigarh, and finally he also did his Ph.D. from Punjab University Chandigarh.[1]

Ajmer Singh is the only Indian personality with a PhD degree in Physical Education to have been honored by Govt. of India with the Arjuna Award. He was a self-made man who came from very humble beginnings, and remained a humble person all his life, an able administrator, a great coach and teacher, a passionate mentor, a strict disciplinarian, a warm human being whose heart and home were always open to others, and a very fine family man.

Up to middle school level education, Ajmer had to walk to the neighbouring village of Rohira, some 2 miles (about 4 kilometers) from village Kup. Family being very poor, Ajmer walked bare feet, rain or shine, winters or summers, dressed in rags through thorny paths to school, and yet achieved first division at all school level examinations. There was no electricity in those days, and he would sit at night by a small oil lamp and study, as he would be out helping with all family chores at home and in the fields during day light.

Always under-fed, and malnutritioned, Ajmer had knocking knees as a growing up child, and yet he became Asian champion in sprinting, and an Olympian athlete. Having lost his mother while he was a baby, Ajmer had only one regret having never known his mother.


He took part in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, two years later at the 1966 Asian Games held at Bangkok, he won a gold in 400 metres, and a silver in 200 metres[2]

Was on deputation as Special Education Officer to Federal Govt. of Nigeria from 1976 to 1979. While in Nigeria, Ajmer coached Daghba Minha who was his student at Federal Govt. Girls' College, Abuloma, Portharcourt, Nigeria, in athletics. Minha, under the able and dedicated guidance of Ajmer, became Nigeria's national champion in Shot Put and Discus Throw.

He also remained vice-chancellor of Laxmibai National University of Physical Education, Gwalior and Maulana Abul Kalam Chair and Director Sports, at the Punjab University, Chandigarh.[2][4]

He died in Chandigarh in the morning of January 26, 2010, at the age of 70,[5] and is survived by his wife, two sons and grand children.[1]

He was awarded the second highest sports award, the Arjuna Award by Government of India in 1966[6]

Two years before his death, Ajmer had declared his body be donated for medical research to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research at Chandigarh. Also, he Ajmer had declared that no memorials be made/constructed in his memory in any form. Both his wishes were fulfilled by his family.


  1. ^ a b c "Olympics". sports-reference. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Olympian athlete Ajmer Singh passed away". The Times of India. Jan 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ Olympian athlete Prof Ajmer Singh is dead sportswire, January 26, 2010.
  4. ^ "Olympian athlete Ajmer Singh dead". Indian Express. Jan 28, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Olympian athlete's body donated for research". CNN-IBN. Jan 28, 2010. 
  6. ^ "List of Award winners up to 2004". Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 

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