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‘Inspired India to aim for excellence’ - Virat Kohli, others pay tribute to legend Milkha Singh

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Legendary Indian sprinter and four-time Asian Games winner Milkha Singh passed away on Friday due to post-COVID-19 complications.

The 91-year-old, fondly called the ‘Flying Sikh’, was being treated at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh after being readmitted to the hospital on June 4, since testing positive in May.

Milkha Singh’s passing comes just days after his wife and former Indian volleyball captain Nirmal Kaur succumbed to the virus. She was 85.

Among the many accolades in his career, the Flying Sikh is greatly revered for winning India's first individual gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1958 and famously finishing fourth in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Olympic Games.

Legendary Indian cricket team batsman Sachin Tendulkar was among the first members of the cricket fraternity to pay tribute to Indian track and field icon.

Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who is currently part of the team playing in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in England, termed Milkha Singh as a hero, an inspiration, and a legend.

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, a host of former India stalwarts like Virender Sehwag and former Indian cricket team head coach Anil Kumble, and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly mourned the death of Milkha Singh.

Current India captain Virat Kohli said that Milkha Singh’s legacy inspired the country to aim for excellence and have a never-say-die attitude.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar’s tribute to Milkha Singh was rather special, given the former cricketer-turned-commentator believed the legendary sprinter could have reached the age of 100.

"It's really sad news, very very sad news. One of India's greatest sporting legends and he is no more. I know he was in his 90s, with his fitness, I thought he was going to complete a century. I was really looking forward to him completing a century," Gavaskar said.

In the first session of Day 2 of the ICC World Test Championship Final, the Indian cricket team players stepped out with black armbands as a sign of respect to the legendary athlete. 

Featured photo: Twitter / Sports Authority of India

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