KUALA TERENGGANU, April 19 (Bernama) -- Former Olympian Kamaruddin Maidin, 66, the first athlete from Terengganu to represent Malaysia in the 1960 Rome Olympics, died of a chronic liver ailment at 1.30pm today at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital (HSNZ) here.
Kamaruddin who became the first Malaysian athlete to win five consecutive SEAP Games gold medals and two triple jump gold medals starting 1959, was earlier admitted to the HSNZ Intensive Care Unit nine days ago when his condition deteriorated and till yesterday he was in a coma.
He leaves behind wife, Rajemah Sheikh Ahmad, also an athlete and 1966 Asian Games bronze medal winner (4x100m), and six children, all boys.
His son Kamarezuan, 37, said all family members were by his side when he passed away.
"The funeral will be held at our home in Permint Jaya, Chendering and he will be buried at the Sheikh Ibrahim Muslim Cemetery after Asar prayers today," he told Bernama here today.
Kamaruddin, a triple and long jump champion was among three Malaysians, the other two being Dr M Jegathesan and Dr Shaharudin Ali, who represented the country in the Rome Olympics.
The outspoken Kamaruddin who had groomed numerous athletes in the state and national level throughout his 50 odd years in athletics, had been suffering from a liver ailment since 2003 and had received treatment at the Ampang Puteri Hospital, Kuala Lumpur the same year.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) deputy president Karim Ibrahim said Kamaruddin's demise was a great loss to athletics, especially in Terengganu, as he had been actively involved in the sport even when he was suffering from his ailment.
"He was a great athlete, always dedicated, committed and stood up for athletes when they were in trouble. With his vast knowledge in athletics, he was like an athletics institution," said Karim.
Yesterday, National Athlete Welfare Foundation (Yakeb) executive chairman Datuk Mumtaz Jaafar had also visited Kamaruddin at HSZN.
Rajemah who is currently the Terengganu Amateur Athletic Association (POAT) secretary had yesterday expressed her disappointment because though her husband had served the nation as an athlete and official all these years, nobody from the National Sports Council or state sports council had visited him when his was in the hospital for nine days.
Karmaruddin Maidin of Malaya won a gold medal during the field events on the third day of the first SEAP Games at Bangkok, 15 Dec 1959
Kamaruddin Maidin making his 24 ft long jump at Merdeka Stadium July 1961