‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh was given a final farewell with full state honors at the crematorium in Sector 25. The police team gave a gun salute to the 91-year-old great athlete, his son and international golfer Jeev Milkha Singh lit his father’s pyre. Dressed in his signature style with a blazer and red turban, he completed the last race of his life. He had a picture of wife Nirmal Kaur in his lap. As if both of them are going on a new journey together. It is pertinent to mention here that five days ago his wife, former India volleyball captain also died of corona in a private hospital in Mohali. Milkha has won four gold medals at the Asian Games and also won a gold medal in the 1958 Commonwealth Games. However, the 91-year-old is best remembered for his epic race in the 400m final at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He has also represented India in the 1956 and 1964 Olympics and was awarded the Padma Shri in 1959. Milkha became popular when he finished fourth in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games with a timing of 45.6 seconds. A Bollywood film has also been made on Milkha Singh. Milkha Singh’s national record of 400 meters was held for 38 years, which was broken by Paramjit Singh in a domestic competition in 1998. Singh is survived by three daughters Dr. Mona Singh, Alija Grover, Sonia Sanwalka and son Jeev Milkha Singh. Golfer Jeev, a 14-time international champ, is also a Padma Shri awardee like his father. Milkha was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of PGIMER Hospital in Chandigarh. The former athlete was admitted to PGIMER on June 3 following a drop in oxygen levels after being treated at Mohali’s Fortis Hospital for a week. Later his Kovid test came negative. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the death of Milkha Singh. PM Modi tweeted and wrote, ‘In the passing of Milkha Singh ji, we have lost a great sportsperson who had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians. He was loved by millions with his inspiring personality. I am hurt by his death. I spoke to Milkha Singh ji a few days back. I didn’t know it would be our last thing. Many budding sportspersons will be inspired by his life. My condolences to his family and his fans across the world.
[Attribution to NBT]