‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh dies at 91 from Covid-19 complications

01:25 AM | 19 Jun, 2021
‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh dies at 91 from Covid-19 complications

Flying Sikh Milkha Singh succumbed to coronavirus in Chandigarh on Friday night, less than a week after his wife died from the deadly Covid-19.

The 91-year-old former Olympian had contracted Covid-19 a month ago and lost his wife Nirmal Kaur to the virus earlier this week.

The 1958 Commonwealth Games champion and 1960 Rome Olympian had tested positive for the virus on May 20 and was admitted to a private hospital in Mohali on May 24. He was discharged from the hospital on May 30. Later, he was admitted to the Covid ward at the Nehru Hospital Extension at PGIMER on June 3 due to dipping oxygen levels. The former Indian athlete had tested negative on Thursday earlier this week and was shifted to the medical ICU.

“Dad just passed away,” Singh’s son Jeev Milkha Singh told the media.

Singh was born in Gobindpura – in present day Pakistan – and was the first Indian track and field athlete to win gold in the then British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in 1958. He remained the only one for more than 50 years before discus thrower Krishna Poonia won gold at the 2010 CWG in Delhi. Singh had beaten Malcolm Spence of South Africa with a timing of 46.6 seconds in the Scottish city.

Singh is survived by three daughters – Mona Singh, Aleeza Grover and Sonia Sanwalka as well as son Jeev Milkha Singh. Golfer Jeev, a 14-time international winner, is a Padma Shri awardee like his father and had been coordinating with the medical staff at PGIMER along with elder sister Dr Mona Singh since last month.