Padma Shree Awardee and the famous legendary India sprinter, Milkha Singh passed away due to COVID-19 related complications last night. Flying Sikh, as he was fondly called was 91 years old and breathed his last in the Intensive Care Unit of the PGIMER hospital in Chandigarh. While the nation mourns the demise of the Asian Games and the Commonwealth medal winner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his tribute for the icon.
PM Modi expressed his anguish and said, "In the passing away of Shri Milkha Singh Ji, we have lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation’s imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians. His inspiring personality endeared himself to millions. Anguished by his passing away."
He further mentioned that he and Milkha SIngh had spoken just a few days ago over a call. His tweet read, "I had spoken to Shri Milkha Singh Ji just a few days ago. Little did I know that it would be our last conversation. Several budding athletes will derive strength from his life journey. My condolences to his family and many admirers all over the world."
Just 5 days back the news of Milkha Singh's wife, Nirmal Kaur succumbing to COVID-19 related complications became the headline. Milkha Singh was the only athlete from India to win gold in 400 metres race at the Asian Games as well as Commonwealth Games. He also won gold during the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. He represented India in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Image source: SpotboyE archives, Instagram/jeevmilkhasingh