Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh died on June 18 due to post-Covid-19 complications. He was being treated at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research.
Milkha sir had contracted Covid-19 on May 19 and was earlier admitted at the Covid ICU of the same hospital before returning negative on June 16. He was admitted to the PGIMER on June 3 after his oxygen levels dipped at home following treatment at the Fortis hospital in Mohali for a week.
His family in a statement to the media said: “It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away. He fought hard but God has his ways and it was perhaps true love and companionship that both our mother Nirmal ji and now Dad have passed away in a matter of 5 days.”
His death came five days after his wife Nirmal also died due to post-Covid complications.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted condolences at the passing away of Milkha Singh.
“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,” PM Modi tweeted.
“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.
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.