India’s expert runner Milkha Singh died on Friday at 91 years old following a month-long fight with Covid-19.
“It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away at 11.30 pm on the 18th of June 2021,” read a family statement.
The family said the sporting icon 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.”
“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,” it added.
The PGIMER additionally gave an statement and expressed its sympathies.
“…despite best of the efforts by a 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 pm,” the hospital stated.
PGIMER Director Prof Jagat Ram said Milkha “will be remembered for his exceptional accomplishments on and off the field and his endearing and humane personality.”
Singh had tested positive for Covid-19 last month and was in disconnection at his home in Chandigarh before he was conceded to the ICU of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) hospital in Chandigarh.
His 85-year-old wife Nirmal, who had additionally been infected by the virus, died at a private hospital in Mohali on Sunday.
The Padma Shri awardee, who was nicknamed ‘The Flying Sikh’ for his achievements, is made due by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.
The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold-medallist and 1958 Commonwealth Games champion. He keeps on being the lone Indian athlete to win Gold in the Asian and Commonwealth Championship.
Condolences pour in
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has communicated trouble at the death of Milkha Singh and said India lost a colossal sportsperson, who caught the nation’s imagination.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
“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.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu additionally consoled the legendary runner’s passing.
Grieving his demise, the President said the story of Milkha Singh’s struggles and strength of character will keep on inspire generations of Indians.
“The passing of sporting icon Milkha Singh fills my heart with grief. The story of his struggles and strength of character will continue to inspire generations of Indians. My deepest condolences to his family members, and countless admirers,” the official account of Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.
“Deeply saddened to hear that Shri Milkha Singh ji has passed away. Through his scintillating performances on the world stage, the legendary athlete has stirred and inspired every Indian – and not just in sports,” the official account of Vice President tweeted.
“Shri Milkha Singh ji’s heart-touching life journey will continue to motivate many more aspiring Indian athletes to dream big and push their boundaries. My condolences to his family and admirers in this hour of grief. Om Shanti,” Naidu added.
Association Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju alongside Former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu likewise mourned the dying of Milkha Singh.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Feature Weekly journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.