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.
Rest in Peace our very own ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh ji.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 19, 2021
Your demise has left a deep void in every Indian’s heart today, but you shall keep inspiring several generations to come. pic.twitter.com/ImljefeUEN
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.
A hero, an inspiration, a legend. His legacy will live on for generations to come. Rest in Peace, Milkha Singh sir.— Jasprit Bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) June 18, 2021
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.
Great man. Great Indian. Did so much to make us proud. What a life! #MilkhaSingh— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 19, 2021
Extremely saddened by this news ..RIP ,India's one of the greatest sportsman..you have made young Indians dream of becoming an athlete..had the privilege of knowing you so closely .. pic.twitter.com/mbEk9WPDBd— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) June 19, 2021
The great man #MilkaSingh ji has left us in body, but the name Milkha will always live on as being synonymous with courage and will-power.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 19, 2021
What a man. My sincere condolences to his family. Om Shanti 🙏 pic.twitter.com/AW2FbM3zg1
Deeply saddened to hear the passing of Milkha SinghJi. His legacy will live on… a true legend and an icon. Condolences to his family and friends. 🙏🏽— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) June 19, 2021
India says goodbye to an icon and an inspiration. Your legacy will keep guiding and inspiring generations of sportsperson. Rest in peace, sir. #MilkhaSinghJi— Rishabh Pant (@RishabhPant17) June 19, 2021
Very sad,heartbreaking to hear flying sikh Sardar Milkha singh ji is no more.. 🙏🙏 waheguru 🙏🙏 #RIPMilkhaSinghji— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) June 18, 2021
Sad to hear the passing away of the legend #MilkhaSingh ji. His legacy will live on for generations to come. My heartfelt condolences to his family and well-wishers. Om Shanti pic.twitter.com/YgSRGaH9iP— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) June 19, 2021
Extremely saddened to hear about the demise of legendary Milkha Singh Ji. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to friends & family. pic.twitter.com/s8sRuA9AeY— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) June 19, 2021
The Flying Sikh has flown away but the legend shall live on forever! #MilkhaSingh— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) June 19, 2021
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