Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh dies after month long battle with COVID-19

The Padma Shri awardee was 91, and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.

Indian sprint legend Milkha Singh died on Friday after a month-long battle with COVID-19, during which he lost his former national volleyball captain wife Nirmal Kaur to the same ailment.

The Padma Shri awardee was 91 and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.  “He breathed his last at 11.30 p.m.,” a family spokesperson told PTI.


 His condition turned critical this evening as he developed complications, including fever and dipping oxygen saturation levels, after a bout with COVID-19, in the Intensive Care Unit of the PGIMER hospital.

He had contracted COVID-19 last month and tested negative for the virus on Wednesday when he was shifted to general ICU in another block of the hospital. Milkha had been “stable” before Thursday evening.

Milkha’s 85-year-old wife Nirmal, who had also been infected by the virus, passed away at a private hospital in Mohali on Sunday.

Milkha was admitted to PGIMER on June 3 after his oxygen levels dipped at home following treatment at the Fortis hospital in Mohali for a week.

The official photo finish of the 400m final at the Rome Olympics on September 6, 1960. It shows Otis Davis of the U.S. (nearer, right) turning his head as Carl Kaufmann of Germany lunges at the tape with his head. This trick, which gave Lee Calhoun of the U.S. the high hurdles title, failed to work for Kaufmann. The judges awarded the race to Davis but gave both athletes the world record smashing time of 44.9s. Malcolm Spence of South Africa was third in 45.5s and India’s Milkha Singh fourth in 45.6s. Photo: The Hindu Photo Archives


The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold medallist and the 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance remains the fourth-place finish in the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics.

He also represented India in the 1956 and 1964 Olympics and was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1959.

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