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Milkha Singh, who won gold in the then-440-yard event at the 1958 British and Commonwealth Games, was the one who put Indian athletics on the map.
After a month-long struggle with the virus, Indian sprint legend Milkha Singh, 91, died Friday night of post-covid-19 complications.
Milkha's wife, Nirmal Kaur, a former India volleyball captain, died of the illness five days ago at the same Mohali hospital where the famed runner passed away. Milkha is survived by his 14-time international winner and golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh, as well as his daughters Mona Singh, Sonia Singh, and Aleeza Grover, as well as a sporting legacy that is part of India's sporting history.
On May 20, Milkha, the Flying Sikh, was diagnosed with the virus and admitted to a private hospital in Mohali on May 24. He was discharged on May 30 before being admitted on June 3 to the Covid ward at PGIMER's Nehru Hospital Extension owing to low oxygen levels. On Thursday of this week, the former Indian athlete tested negative and was transferred to the medical ICU.
After a battle with Covid-19, he had symptoms, including a fever and low oxygen saturation levels, which worsened his health on Friday evening.
Milkha was characterized as a "colossal sportsperson who grabbed the nation's imagination" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who expressed his condolences on Twitter following Singh's death. “We have lost a colossal sportsperson in Shri Milkha Singh Ji, who caught the nation's imagination and a particular place in the hearts of many Indians. His uplifting personality endeared him to a large number of people. He tweeted, "I'm heartbroken by his death."


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