India on Saturday
mourned the loss of track legend Milkha Singh after he died aged 91 following a
long battle with Covid-19.
Singh, a four-time Asian Games gold medallist who was dubbed
the ‘Flying Sikh’, passed away at a hospital in the north Indian city of
Chandigarh late Friday.
His wife had also died from the virus earlier in the week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes for Singh,
writing that India had “lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the
nation’s imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar said Singh’s legacy would live
“Rest in Peace our very own ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh
ji,” he tweeted.
“Your demise has left a deep void in every Indian’s
heart today, but you shall keep inspiring several generations to come.”
Indian women’s tennis star Sania Mirza said the “world
will miss a legend like you”.
Singh, who first tested positive for the virus on May 20
according to Indian media, is survived by three daughters and one son, leading
pro golfer Jeev Milkha Singh.
Singh was born in 1929 in Govindpura, in what is now
He lost his family during the tumultuous partition of
British-ruled India at independence in 1947, when it was divided into Pakistan
and India, before going on to become one of the young country’s first athletic
Singh won gold medals at the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games.
However, he shot to fame at the 1960 Olympics in Rome when
he finished fourth in the 400m after a photo-finish was required to decide the
His time of 45.73 seconds was an Indian national record
which stood for almost 40 years. But the devastated Singh never fulfilled his
dream of winning an Olympic medal.