KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Legendary Malaysian 400-metre runner and Olympian, Datuk Asirvatham Victor, died in Ipoh this morning at the age of 81.
Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) president Datuk S.M. Muthu said the Ipoh-born athlete, who has a history of heart problems, was brought to the KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital after suffering breathing difficulties and died there.
“He had a history of heart problems, and this morning he found it hard to breathe and was rushed to the hospital,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, Asirvatham’s brother-in-law, Anthony Thomas, 57, said the deceased’s body was taken to his sister’s house in Jalan Wayang, Buntong in Ipoh for the wake.
“He will be laid to rest at the Tambun Catholic Cemetery tomorrow,” he said.
Asirvatham, who took up athletics after chasing a school runner who took his pencil box back in 1948, ran the 400 metres in three Olympics namely, Tokyo (1964) and Mexico (1968).
His other achievements include winning 14 gold medals in the Sea Games for the 400m and 4x400m events, representing the country in the 1962 and 1966 Commonwealth Games and also brought home four silver medals from the Asian Games in 1962, 1966, 1970 and 1974. — Bernama