Milkha Singh, India's Flying Sikh, passes away at 91 due to COVID-19 complications
Milkha Singh breathed his last five days after this wife Nirmal Kaur passed away due to COVID-19.
June 19, 2021 / 01:02 AM IST
Milkha Singh breathe his last five days after this wife Nirmal Kaur passed away due to COVID-19.
Milkha Singh, popularly known as the 'Flying Sikh', breathed his last on June 18 in Chandigarh. The former athlete was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of PGIMER hospital in Chandigarh due to post-COVID-19 complications. A family spokesperson confirmed the death of Milkha Singh, who lost a bronze medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics by just 0.1 seconds, to news agency PTI.
Singh was admitted to PGIMER on June 3 after his oxygen levels dipped, following treatment at a private hospital in Mohali after contracting COVID-19. The former athlete tested negative and was moved to the medical ICU at PGIMER.
Reports of Singh’s deteriorating health started surfacing on Friday evening. “Dad just passed away,” Jeev Singh, son of Milkha Singh, told Indian Express. He breathed his last five days after this wife Nirmal Kaur passed away due to COVID-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief and said that India has lost a colossal sportsperson. “His inspiring personality endeared himself to millions. Anguished by his passing away,” the PM said.
The 91-year-old former athlete was India’s first to win an individual athletics gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Singh also represented India in three Summer Olympics - Melbourne (1956), Rome (1960), and Tokyo (1964). His fourth-place time of 45.73 seconds in the final of the 1960 Rome Olympics was the Indian national record for almost 40 years. Singh was awarded the Padma Shri in 1959 following his achievements in the 1956 Olympics and other tournaments.
Singh is survived by his three daughters Dr Mona Singh, Aleeza Grover, Sonia Sanwalka and son Jeev Milkha.