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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Leads The Nation In Paying Rich Tributes To Legendary ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi lead the nation in morning the demise of legend Milkha Singh , saying the country has lost a colossal sportsperson who captured the nation’s imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians.

The 91-year-old died at a hospital in Chandigarh after a month-long battle with COVID-19, during which he lost his wife and former national volleyball captain Nirmal Kaur to the same ailment. He became the first Indian athlete to win an individual gold in a Commonwealth Games, which led to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declaring a national holiday on his request.

That he an icon was beyond doubt, his feats said it all. Milkha was a four-time Asian Games gold-medallist and the 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance was a near miss, the fourth place finish in the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics. His timing at the Italian capital remained the national record for 38 years. He was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1959.

In a series of tweets, Modi wrote , “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.”

“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.

Home Minster Amit Shah said the country lost one of the brightest stars of Indian sports.

“India mourns the sad demise of legendary sprinter Shri Milkha Singh Ji, The Flying Sikh. He has left an indelible mark on world athletics. Nation will always remember him as one of the brightest stars of Indian sports. My deepest condolences to his family and countless followers.”

Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

Rahul Gandhi, Former Congress president

Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP

Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister

Virat Kohli, India Cricket Captain

Gautam Gambhir, BJP MP , East Delhi

Sania Mirza , Tennis Star

Sachin Tendulkar, Batting legend

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