Legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh, popularly known as ‘Flying Sikh, has passed away, said a statement from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, where he was being treated for Covid-related complications.
Milkha, who breathed his last at 11.30 p.m. on Friday, was 91 and is survived by a son – ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, and three daughters.
He was born in Layalpur, in undivided India and now in Pakistan.
“Legendary Indian Sprinter Shri Milkha Singh ji was admitted in the ICU of Covid Hospital of PGIMER on 3rd June 2021 and was treated for Covid there till 13th June when after putting up a valiant battle with Covid, Milkha Singh Ji tested negative,” said Prof Ashok Kumar, official spokesperson, PGIMER, in a media statement after Milkha Singh passed away.
“However, due to post-Covid complications, he was shifted out of Covid Hospital to medical ICU. But despite best of the efforts by the medical team, Milkha Singh ji could not be retrieved from his critical condition and after a brave fight, he left for his heavenly abode at 11.30 p.m. on 18th June 2021, here at PGIMER,” the statement said.
Milkha’s family also issued a statement after he 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 five days,” the family statement read.
“We are deeply indebted to the doctors at PGI for their valiant efforts and the love and prayers we received from across the world and from yourselves. We Thank You,” said the family.
Milkha made headlines when he had clocked 45.6 seconds to finish fourth at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, whichremained a national record for 40 years before Paramjeet Singh surpassed it in 1998.
Milkha was conferred the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in 1959.