‘Ironman of India’ Sabir Ali, who won the decathlon gold at the 1981 Asian Athletics Championships in Tokyo, passed away. He was 67. Ali, who retired from Railways, won the title in the Japanese capital with a tally of 7,253 points beating Japan’s Nobuya Saito (7,078) and China’s Zu Qilin (7,074). He also won two silver medals at the South Asian Federation Games held in Kathmandu and Dhaka.
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Ali won eight consecutive Open National titles in the gruelling event between 1979 and 1985. The Railways star was unbeatable at the Inter-State meets too – he represented Haryana — which he won twice in 1979 and 1981. His pet event was the javelin throw. Ali won a bronze and silver at the World Railway meets in 1981 and ’85 and was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1981. Ali, who grew up in Delhi, is survived by his wife, son and daughter.