Chandigarh: The legendary sprinter Milkha Singh, better known as the Flying Sikh, died on Friday at 11.30 pm due to post-Covid complications at the PGI, Chandigarh. He was 91.
The former Olympian tested positive on May 20 and was admitted to a private hospital on May 24.after developing pneumonia. He was discharged on May 30 but had to be admitted to the ICU at the PGI Covid Hospital on June 3 due to plunging oxygen levels. Singh was transferred to the medical ICU after testing negative on June 13. On Friday, his condition began to deteriorate, as complications including a fever and a drop in oxygen saturation level set in.
His son, Jeev Milkha Singh, said in a statement, ‘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. 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 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.’
The entire country paid glowing tributes to him. Prime Minister Naredra Modi and other politicians tweeted their condolences.
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. pic.twitter.com/h99RNbXI28
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2021
Nirmal Kumar, Milkha Singh’s wife and former Indian women volleyball team captain, died on June 14 due to complications related to Covid. Since he was admitted to the ICU at the PGI, he was unable to attend his wife’s cremation.
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. pic.twitter.com/HsHMXYHypx
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 18, 2021
Upset and saddened to hear of Milkha Singh Ji’s demise. It marks the end of an era and India & Punjab are poorer today. My condolences to the bereaved family & millions of fans. The legend of the Flying Sikh will reverberate for generations to come. Rest in peace Sir! pic.twitter.com/7yK8EOHUnS
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 18, 2021
Saddened to hear about the demise of Shri Milkha Singh Ji. A legendary sportsman, he will be dearly remembered.
My sincere condolences to his family, loved ones and fans across the world.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) June 18, 2021
— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) June 18, 2021