NEW DELHI (AP) — Milkha Singh, certainly one of India’s first sport superstars and ace sprinter who overcame a childhood tragedy to grow to be the nation’s most celebrated athlete, has died. He was 91.
Singh’s household stated he died late Friday of issues from COVID-19 in a hospital within the northern metropolis of Chandigarh.
Singh had first examined optimistic for the coronavirus on Might 20. His spouse Nirmal Kaur, a former volleyball captain, had died of the virus simply days earlier. She was 85.
“He fought laborious however God has his methods,” Singh’s household stated in a press release.
Popularly often known as “the Flying Sikh,” Singh was the primary Indian athlete to win a gold medal on the Commonwealth Video games within the 400m division in 1958. He narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal, ending fourth on the 400m closing of the 1960 Rome Video games.
Singh represented India on the Olympics in 1956, 1960 and 1964.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes to the athlete and known as him a “colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation’s creativeness and had a particular place within the hearts of numerous Indians.”
“His inspiring persona endeared himself to hundreds of thousands,” Modi stated in a tweet.
Singh was born in a small village of undivided India, which is now in Pakistan. He noticed his mother and father and siblings being killed by a mob in the course of the Partition of British India, which left as much as 1 million folks useless and led to the creation of two new international locations — India and Pakistan.
In the course of the riots, Singh escaped to the jungle after which managed to discover a practice that introduced him to New Delhi, the place he later joined the military.
Singh’s exploits on the monitor made him a nationwide hero. His story of changing into the newly created nation’s first athletic champion has been handed on to generations. In 2013, his life was become a preferred Bollywood movie, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” (Run Milkha Run).
Singh is survived by a son — golfer Jeev Milkha Singh — and three daughters.