Pakistan Olympic hockey hero Muhammad Asad Malik is no more

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The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has led tributes and condolences on the sad demise of Mexico 1968 Olympic hockey champion Muhammad Asad Malik, who has died following a road incident in Pakistan.

The 78-year-old Asad Malik lost his life earlier this week in the town of Sharaqpur Sharif, in the Punjab province of Pakistan. As per reports, Asad’s daughter was injured in the same incident and remains in a critical condition in a hospital.

Asad Malik was a triple Olympian and was an integral part of the Pakistani team that earned gold at 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.

Asad Malik scored the winning goal of the final against Australia, with Pakistan going on to claim a famous 2-1 victory. That strike made him a household name in Pakistan, with his image featuring on a special commemorative postage stamp to mark the occasion.

“The FIH offers its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Asad Malik and everyone at the Pakistan Hockey Federation,” the organisation said in a message posted on social media. Our thoughts are with you all at this incredibly difficult time.”

“Asad Malik was a highly accomplished athlete, having achieved in his life many milestones under his belt,” Dato Tayyab Ikram, Asian Hockey Federation chief executive, said.

“He will be sorely missed by the hockey family. He has left us now for a better place, and I offer my deepest condolences to his family, and hope that they can find courage to face this unbearable loss,” the condolence added.

Along with winning gold in Mexico, Asad Malik claimed silver at both the 1964 Tokyo and 1972 Munich Olympic Games, where Pakistan were beaten in the final by India and West Germany, respectively. Asad Malik did not just enjoy Olympic success, also achieving a trio of medals at the Asian Games as he won gold at Jakarta (1962) and Bangkok (1970) after taking silver at the 1966 event in Bangkok.

Asad Malik’s playing legacy lived on through his relatives, with younger brother Saeed Anwar and nephews Anjum Saeed and Naeem Amjad also representing Pakistan at subsequent Olympic Games.