Sad Demise of Dato’ Krishnasamy Thambusamy OLY - Olympic Council of Malaysia Olympic Council of Malaysia

Sad Demise of Dato’ Krishnasamy Thambusamy OLY

The OCM expresses its deepest condolences to the family members of Dato’ Krishnasamy Thambusamy OLY, who passed away peacefully on Wednesday, 20th December 2023, at the age of 79.

Dato’ Krishnasamy Thambusamy OLY, who was well known as “Thambu Krishnan” within the Athletics fraternity, was a renowned short-distance sprinters in the 1960s and 1970s. He represented Malaysia in various Athletics Championships at Southeast Asia and Asia levels, competing in all the sprinting events such as Men’s 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m and 4x400m.

He was a vital member of the Malaysian Contingent to the following Multi-Sport Games under the jurisdiction of OCM:
1. South East Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games – 1965, 1967, 1969 & 1971
2. Asian Games – 1966 & 1970
3. Olympic Games – 1968 & 1972

His debut at the SEAP Games was in 1965 when Malaysia hosted the SEAP Games for the first time. The 3rd edition of the SEAP Games was held from 14th to 21st December 1965, in Kuala Lumpur. It was reported as headlines by major newspapers during the period of the 3rd SEAP Games when Dr. M. Jegathesan (22 years old) and Thambu Krishnan (21 years old) clinched the gold and silver medals respectively for the Malaysian Contingent in Men’s 100m event. They, along with Rajalingam Gunaratnam (24 years old) and Mohd Arrifin Ahmad (19 years old) also contributed another gold medal for the Malaysian Contingent in Men’s 4x100m event.

A year later, he made his debut at the Asian Games as part of the Malaysian Contingent participating in the 5th Asian Games held from 9th to 20th December 1966 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Athletics Team of the Malaysian Contingent was overwhelmed by the sensational performance of Dr. M. Jegathesan, who won the gold medals in the Men’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m events, earning the titles of the “Fastest Man in Asia” and the “Flying Doctor”. Thambu Krishnan also contributed a bronze medal for the Malaysian Contingent in Men’s 200m event. Additionally, he was also a member of the Relay Team along with Mohd Arrifin Ahmad, Rajalingam Gunaratnam and Dr. M. Jegathesan, securing the gold medal in Men’s 4x100m event.

In 1968, his dream of becoming an Olympian materialized when he was selected along with Dr. M. Jegathesan, Rajalingam Gunaratnam and Ooi Hock Lim, to compete in the Men’s 4x100m event at the XIX Olympic Games held from 12th to 27th October 1968, in Mexico. The Relay Team clocked a timing of 40.8s, finishing in 8th position in Semi Final Heat 1.

In the 5th SEAP Games Rangoon 1969, Thambu Krishnan, Rajalingam Gunaratnam, Zainuddin Wahab and Abdul Wahid Annuar contributed a gold medal for the Malaysian Contingent in Men’s 4x100m event.

In the 6th Asian Games Bangkok 1970, Thambu Krishnan participated in the Men’s 200m and 4x400m events. He secured 7th place in the 200m event. However, the Relay Team consisting of Victor Asirvatham, Mohd Hassan Osman, Thambu Krishnan and Jayabalan Karuppiah, contributed a bronze medal for the Malaysian Contingent in 4x400m event.

In the 6th SEAP Games Kuala Lumpur 1971, Thambu Krishnan contributed 2 gold medals for the Malaysian contingent: 1 in the Men’s 400m event and another gold medal in 4x400m event, alongside A.S. Nathan, Ramasamy Subramaniam and S. Sivaraman.

Thambu Krishnan concluded his athletic career by qualifying to compete in an individual event at the Olympic Games, specifically the Men’s 400m event at the XX Olympic Games Munich 1972. He completed the race with a time of 48.31s, finishing in 5th position in Round 1, Heat 9. Additionally, he participated as a member of the Relay Team alongside Mohd Hassan Osman, Peyadesa Plb Singa and Sabapathy Sinnayah, in the Men’s 4×400 m event. The Relay Team achieved a time of 3:13.51, finishing in 6 position in the Heat 3, Round 1 of the event.

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. M. Jegathesan OLY holds fond memories of Dato’ Krishnasamy Thambusamy OLY.

“Throughout my athletic career in the 1960s, a regular teammate and rival was Thambu Krishnan. All the time he was more a friend than a rival. He was always there to encourage me to go on even faster. He took great pride in finishing next to each other in Malaysian colours. When feeling down he was always there with a word of consolation and encouragement. I have kept regular contact with him in recent years as I always called him when I was in Penang for my official duties at the USM. We would get together for a meal or a drink. I will certainly miss him. Heartfelt condolences to his beloved family members” quoted Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. M. Jegathesan.

“On behalf of OCM, we express our utmost appreciation to Thambu Krishnan for his achievements, contributing multiple medals for the Malaysian Contingent in the SEAP Games and the Asian Games throughout the 1960s and 1970s” quoted Tan Sri Dato’ Sri (Dr.) Mohamad Norza Zakaria, President of OCM.

“We would also like to express our gratitude to Thambu Krishnan for his contributions to promoting the Olympic Movement in Penang”,

“He played significant roles in the Olympic Day Celebration held in collaboration between the OCM and the Penang State Government in 2019 and 2022”,

“He was one of the Torch Bearers for the Olympic Torch Relay held during the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Carnival Penang 2019 and the 2019 Olympic Day Celebration on Sunday, 23rd June 2019 at Padang Kota Lama, Georgetown, Penang”,

“He also took up the role as an Olympian Ambassador to promote Olympism and Olympic Values throughout the District of Seberang Perai Utara, where he resided, during the organization of Olympic Carnival Community Penang 2022 and the 2022 Olympic Day Celebration on Thursday, 23rd June 2022” added Tan Sri Dato’ Sri (Dr.) Mohamad Norza Zakaria.

The demise of Dato’ Krishnasamy Thambusamy OLY is a great loss to the Athletics fraternity in Malaysia. May his soul rest in peace.

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