-By NET Web Desk
Death caught up to the Flying Sikh, on the night of June 19. He was 91 years old. Milkha Singh had tested positive for Covid earlier this month. A few days back his wife Nirmal Kaur, a volleyball player, had succumbed to Covid-19.
Milkha Singh was tested positive on May 20. The 1958 Commonwealth Games champion and 1960 Rome Olympian was later admitted to a private hospital in Mohali on May 24 and was discharged on May 30.
When his oxygen levels dipped he was admitted to the Covid ward at the Nehru Hospital Extension at PGIMER on June 3. He was tested negative on June 17, Thursday, and was shifted to ICU where he later passed away due to post-covid complications.
“Despite best of the efforts by a medical team, Milkha Singh ji could not be retrieved from his critical condition and after a brave fight, he left for his heavenly abode at 11:30 pm,” the hospital stated.
Meanwhile, President of India, PM Narendra Modi have grieved the passing away of the legendary sprinter.
President Kobind Tweeted, “The story of his struggles and strength of character will continue to inspire generations of Indians.”
The passing of sporting icon Milkha Singh fills my heart with grief. The story of his struggles and strength of character will continue to inspire generations of Indians. My deepest condolences to his family members, and countless admirers.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) June 18, 2021
PM Modi informed that he had spoken to Milkha Singh a few days back which became his last interaction with the legend.
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. pic.twitter.com/h99RNbXI28
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2021
Milkha Singh is survived by his son golfer Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters. After their father passed away the family issued a joint statement to the press thanking the doctors for their efforts and the people for their love and support.
It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away at 11.30 pm. on the 18th of June 2021.
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.
We are deeply indebted to the doctors at PGI for their valiant efforts and the love and prayers we received from across the world and from yourselves.
We Thank You
Milkha Singh was born in present-day Pakistan in the hamlet of Gobindpura. An eye witness of the bloody India Pakistan partition he was the first Indian track and field athlete to win gold in the Cardiff Commonwealth Games 1958. He remained the only one to do so for more than half a century till Krishna Poonia won a gold in Commonweath games of 2010 in Discuss throw.
He also won four Asian Games gold medals – 200m and 400m in 1958, and 400m and 4x400m relay in 1962. Singh became a legend in the 1960 Rome Olympics where he became fourth in a photo finish losing the bronze by one-hundredth of a second. He set a national record in Rome Olympics by finishing the race in 45.6 seconds. It was later broken by Paramjeet Singh in 1998.