The legendary Milkha Singh, the man who introduced track and field to India, passed at the age of 91 late on Friday night after a prolonged battle with Covid-19. Singh, who contracted the virus last month but was then discharged from Chandigarh's Fortis Hospital, was hospitalised again at the PGIMER earlier this month and was showing improvement.
But his health began deteriorating from Thursday, as he developed fever, along with dipping oxygen levels. And five days after losing his wife Nirmal Kaur to Covid, Singh, who fought the virus with tremendous grit and courage, unfortunately, lost the battle.
Singh's passing comes as a huge loss to India and its sporting fraternity, with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, Saina Nehwal, Sunil Chhetri and many more playing their respect to 'The Flying Sikh'.
Singh was a four-time Asian Games gold medallist, and he never lost the crown of being independent India's greatest track athlete. He won four gold medals at the Asian Games and was a 1958 Commonwealth Games champion. Singh missed the 400m bronze at the 1960 Rome Olympics when the athletic world, not just India, had taken a medal as certain. That run in Rome remains the gold standard for Indians. No Indian has won a medal in the 14 editions since then.