Milkha Singh, legendary athlete and Asian gold winner known as ‘Flying Singh,’ has passed away at the age of 91. Nirmal Milkha Singh, a former Indian volleyball captain, and Milkha Singh’s wife died on June 13, Sunday, after suffering COVID-19 and battled the virus for almost 19 days in a Mohali hospital.
His death came just five days after his wife Nirmal passed away from complications due to the Covid.
Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh dies after month long battle with COVID-19: Family spokesperson— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) June 18, 2021
The official spokesperson for PGIMER, Prof Ashok Kumar said, “Legendary Indian Sprinter Shri Milkha Singh ji was admitted in the ICU of COVID Hospital of PGIMER on 3rd June 2021 and was treated for COVID there till 13th June when after putting up a valiant battle with COVID, Milkha Singh Ji tested negative.”
Prof Ashok added, “However, due to post-COVID complications, he was shifted out of COVID Hospital to medical ICU. But despite best of the efforts by the 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 on 18th June 2021 here at PGIMER.”
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, also paid respect to the Asian gold medallist and wrote on Twitter, “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.”
“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,” he added in another tweet.
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, a former army officer, has won numerous medals for India in track and field tournaments throughout the world. In the 1958 Tokyo Asian Games, he won four gold medals for India, including the 200 meter and 400 meter races. In the 1962 Jakarta Asiad, he won gold medals in the 400 meter dash and the 4×400 meter relay.
In 1959, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honor.