DH Latest NewsDH NEWSLatest NewsNEWSIndependence DayChanging IndiaIndiaSports

75 years of independence: Iconic moments from Indian sports – Milkha Singh wins gold for India at Commonwealth Games

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging greatest sporting achievements by Indian athletes.

Milkha Singh wins first individual gold for India at the 1958 Commonwealth Games

On July 24, 1958, Milkha Singh, the first Indian to win gold in the tournament, put Indian athletics on the map of the globe by taking first place in the 440-yard race at the British and Commonwealth Games.

On his suggestion, the then-prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru established a national holiday to honour the accomplishment.

He first encountered Abdul Khaliq, Asia’s fastest man at the time and the gold medalist in the 100-meter race, at the Tokyo Asian Games earlier that year. When the two entered the race (for the 200-meter distance), Milkha easily defeated the Pakistani competitor to win.

The two met again in Lahore two years later when Milkha won the race again, with the Indian earning the title ‘The Flying Sikh’ here by the then Pakistan President General Ayub Khan.

Milkha, a 1958 Commonwealth Games winner and four-time Asian Games gold medalist, finished his career with 77 victories from 80 races.

While his four Asian Games gold medals—200 and 400 metres in 1958; 400 and 4×400 relay in 1962—firmly established him as a legend, his biggest and most sad moment came when he placed fourth at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

However, until Paramjeet Singh broke it in 1998 in a national meet in Kolkata, his timing of 45.6 seconds held the national record.

After a month-long fight with COVID-19, the 91-year-old Indian sprint star who received the Padma Shri in 1959 passed away on June 18 five days after losing his wife Nirmal Kaur.


Post Your Comments

Back to top button