A screenshot of Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan at Merdeka Stadium. — Picture via NHK video
A screenshot of Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan at Merdeka Stadium. — Picture via NHK video

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — The latest episode of the NHK World’s 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games torchbearer series features former national track legend Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan.

In the four-minute video clip titled ‘1964 Olympic Legacy: Igniting the Hopes of Malaysia’, Dr Jegathesan said the Olympic torch relay at the historic Stadium Merdeka helped to “unite a young sports-loving country”.

Now 77, Dr Jegathesan recalled that when he witnessed the country’s independence declaration in 1957, listened to the new national anthem Negaraku and watched the national flag jalur gemilang being raised for the first time, he had a gut feeling that one day he would stand on the rostrum and the anthem will be played in honour of his achievement.

Dubbed the Flying Doctor, the sprinter then made it happen 11 times by winning in different parts of the world, including twice as Asian Games champion besides featuring in the Olympics three times.

During his heyday in the 1960s, the golden era of Malaysian athletics, Dr Jegathesan was regarded as the fastest man in Asia and was crowned the country’s first National Sportsman of the Year in 1966.

Dr Jegathesan’s 100m and 200m national records stood for 30 and 49 years respectively. He was also a renowned doctor, researcher and sports administrator after his retirement from track.

The special recap is available at the Japanese television’s website: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/videos/20210106211622444/.

The 1964 Olympics in Tokyo was the first ever edition to be held in Asia, while the city’s second hosting of the Games in 2020 was delayed a year to July 23 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama

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