KOTA KINABALU: The nation lost a great patriot and unsung hero when former Olympic sprinter Datuk Zainuddin Abdul Wahab passed away at age 74 recently, says a former colleague.
In offering his condolences to the family, former Esscom Intelligence Division chief of staff Datuk Hashim Justin said Zainuddin was believed to have succumbed to a respiratory ailment in the Tenom district hospital on Tuesday (June 7).
Zainuddin was originally from Labuan but lived in Tenom, the hometown of his spouse.
"He used to be my workmate in the Kota Kinabalu Criminal Department in 1986," Hashim said on Sunday (June 12).
"He was my superior with the rank of Assistant Supt (ASP) then and I was an inspector.
"We offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and others in the community who are mourning his loss."
The Sabah Police Alumni Facebook page also dedicated a post to Zainuddin, recalling that he was among the earliest Sabahans to represent Malaysia as a sprinter in the then-SEAP Games in 1967 (Bangkok), 1969 (Rangoon) and 1971 (Kuala Lumpur).
He also represented Malaysia in the Bangkok Asian Games in 1970 and the Munich Olympic Games in 1972.
“He contributed greatly to the community in various capacities in the police force until he retired,” the post read.