Legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh passes away after a long battle with Covid

Legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh passes away after a long battle with Covid

Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh died on Friday due to post-Covid complications. He was being treated at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research.

The 91-year-old had tested positive for COVID-19 on May 19 but was in home isolation at his Chandigarh residence after revealing that he was asymptomatic. However, a few days later on May 24, the legendary athlete was admitted to the ICU of Mohali's Fortis hospital due to "COVID pneumonia". He was then moved to PGIMER in Chandigarh on June 3.

 "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," read a family statement.

His death came five days after his wife Nirmal also died due to post-Covid complications.

The Padma Shri awardee, who was nicknamed 'The Flying Sikh' for his accomplishments, is survived by three daughters and his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh.

Jeev Milkha Singh with his father Milkha Singh

Jeev, a 14-time international winner, is a Padma Shri awardee like his father and had been coordinating with the medical staff at PGIMER along with elder sister Dr Mona Singh since last month.

The legendary Milkha Singh played a crucial role in his son's transformation into a professional golfer.

Despite being a sprinter the flying Sikh gave his son Jeev the freedom to chose his career and his love towards the game grew as Jeev stayed close to a course and could go and play regularly.

"Dad bought me my first golf set. It was a set for women because in those days, there were no customised clubs for kids like me," remembered Jeev.

Milkha Singh was a four-time Asian Games gold medallist and 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance was the fourth-place finish in the 400m final at the 1960 Rome. He also represented India in the 1956 and 1964 Olympics and was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1959.

Posted on: 2021 Jun 19 Sat
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