PM joins nation in paying tribute
Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the nation in paying tributes to one of India’s greatest athlete, Milkha Singh fondly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’, who passed away on Friday at the age of 91 due to post-COVID complications at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh.
“It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away at 11.30 p.m. on the 18th of June 2021,’ his family announced in a statement.
“He fought hard but God has his ways and it was perhaps true love and companionship that both our mother Nirmal ji and now Dad have passed away in a matter of 5 days,” the statement added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the legendary sprinter by tweeting, “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.”
Milkha Singh earned his reputation as a track and field athlete by winning four gold medals at the Asian Games. He also won a gold at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.
He narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal, finishing fourth at the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Games. Milkha Singh finished the race in a time 45.73 seconds. It remained a national record for nearly 40 years before Paramjeet Singh surpassed it in 1998.
Milkha Singh had also taken part in the 1956 and 1964 Olympics. He was conferred the Padma Shri in 1959.