'India, Punjab poorer today': Capt Amarinder Singh condoles Milkha Singh's death
Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday condoled Indian ace athelete Milkha Singh's demise and said the legendary sprinter's death marks 'the end of an era'. Milkha Singh, also known as 'The Flying Sikh', died on late Friday due to Covid-19 related complications after a month-long battle.
"Saddened to hear of Milkha Singh Ji’s demise. It marks the end of an era. India & Punjab are poorer today. The legend of the Flying Sikh will reverberate for generations to come," Capt. Amarinder Singh said in a tweet.
Milkha had contracted the viral contagion last month and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a top hospital in Chandigarh due to "dipping levels of oxygen". His condition turned critical on Friday evening as he developed complications, including fever and dropping of oxygen saturation level, after a bout with Covid-19.
"Legendary Indian Sprinter Shri Milkha Singh ji was admitted in the ICU of Covid Hospital of PGIMER on 3rd June 2021 and was treated for Covid there till 13th June when after putting up a valiant battle with Covid, Milkha Singh Ji tested negative. However, due to post- Covid complications, he was shifted out of Covid Hospital to medical ICU," a statement released by the hospital read.
"But despite best of the efforts by the medical team, Milkha Singh ji could not be retrieved from his critical condition and after a brave fight, he left for his heavenly abode at 11.30 pm on 18th June 2021 here at PGIMER," the statement added.
Calling it India's loss of a colossal sportsperson, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid his tributes and said that Milkha Singh inspired millions around the world.
The 91-year-old had tested negative for the virus on Wednesday and was shifted to the general ICU in another block of the hospital.
Milkha Singh's death comes almost a week after his wife Nirmal Kaur, former national volleyball captain, also died of the disease.
A former army man, Milkha Singh won several laurels for the country in track and field events across the globe. He won four gold medals for India in the Asian Games, winning the 200 metre and 400 metre races in the 1958 Tokyo Asiad. He followed it up with gold medals in the 400 metre and 4x400 metre relay races in the 1962 Jakarta Asiad.
Singh was unlucky to have missed out on an Olympic medal as he finished a close fourth in the 400 metre final at the 1960 Rome Olympics.