A day of stardom for Ksh Thoiba Singh at Seoul Olympics 1988

Sanasam Yaiphaba Singh
Contd from previous issue
The Indian players were Rajinder Singh, Pargat Singh, Ashok Kumar, Mohinder Pal, Somya Meneypanda, Vivek Singh, Surjit Kumar, Baladalaiash, Mohammed Shahid, Sebastian Jude Felix, Balwinder Singh, Mervyn Fernandes , Thoiba Singh,  Gurdeep Kumar, Jagbir Singh and Mark Patterson.
The 2nd half was a crucial time for the Indian team not only to equalise the goal but also to score at least one more goal to win the match. It was a must win match for India to stay in the tournament and entertain any hope of advancing further. Thoiba Singh’s moment came in the 55th minute of the match when he managed to penetrate the defence wall of the Korean team and scored the 2nd goal of the match to bring India back into the reckoning.
The equaliser from India, thanks to Thoiba, only goaded the hugely partisan spectators to get more vocal in their support for the Korean team, but this did not dampen the Indian players and thy shot into the lead when Sebastian Jude Felix sounded the board to make India lead by 2-1. It was, however for India to have a bit relief in its way to win the game, and on other hand Korean might have been seriously thinking of equalising the goal. The Korean audience was continuously encouraging their players with the full hope of equalizing and scoring more goals. In contrast to their expectation Thoiba Singh, an Indian player whose physical appearance was very much alike to that of their players scored one more goal at the last minute of the match which dashed all hopes of the Korean spectators.
Thoiba Singh was considered an able successor of Zafar Iqbal who brought skill and artistry to India’s left wing. The main attraction of the crowd at that point of time was on Thoiba Singh who scored two goals to defeat the Korean. When Thoiba returned to the Olympic village the Korean people still talked among themselves by looking and pointing their fingers at Thoiba.
Thoiba at that time thought of what was happening with him and why they were talking and looking at him. A member of Korean Hockey team was one of the best friends of Thoiba whose name was Kim. It is said that sports bring peace, harmony and love among the players and countries. They met at the Olympic village while they were coming back after the match. They talked with each other and went to the market for shopping.   

The writer, a PhD Scholar at Manipur University is a resident of Wangkhei Thangjam Leikai, Imphal and can be reached at [email protected]