National-level kabaddi player Sukhjinder Singh (18) died in a zonal school games match at Multipurpose Government Senior Secondary School in Patiala on Tuesday.
After he collapsed during the game, the organisers moved him to a private hospital, where doctors declared him dead. He was in Class 12 at Malwa Senior Secondary School on the Bhadson road and from Khalsa Colony on the same route. “He played well until halftime, and the players had lined up for the second half when he dropped unconscious,” said his coach, Pritpal Singh.
“Sukhjinder Singh was a Punjab gold medallist who played at the national level. His death is not because of any negligence or mismanagement at the games,” the coach said. Malwa Senior Secondary School principal Janak Rani said “the boy, who joined us last year, had some disease”, a possibility his parents have denied.
“The last time he was ill was a few years ago. My son was physically fit and was a gold-medal winner in the state. We have lost him and accepted it as God’s will and no one’s fault,” said Nekhi Singh, Sukhjinder’s father, a head constable in Punjab Police. Dr Sudhir Verma of the hospital where the boy was moved confirmed he had been brought in dead.