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Sports: ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh passes away at 91

Sports: ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh passes away at 91


Avya Mathur 

New Delhi: “Unable to come to terms with your demise”, actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar grieved the death of sports legend Captain Milkha Singh, who breathed his last at the age of 91, due to post Covid-19 complications late on Friday.

Track and field sprinter Milkha Singh, who was introduced into the sports by the Indian Army he served, gave Independent India its global identity in the sports area when he won medals in the Asian and Commonwealth Games.

Farhan Akhtar had essayed his role in a much-acclaimed biopic on his life and achievements in a 2013 blockbuster film Bhag Mikha Bhag, directed by Rakeyash Omprakash Mehra.

During its making, Akhtar came closer to the legend. On Saturday, he was heartbroken and unable to accept the sudden demise of this sports icon. He paid glowing tributes to the legend on social media: “Dearest Milkha Ji, a part of me is still refusing to accept that you are no more.

“Maybe it is the stubborn side I inherited from you…the side that when it sets its mind on something, just never gives up. And the truth is that you will always be alive. Because you were more than a large-hearted, loving, warm, down-to-earth man.

“You represented an idea. You represented a dream. You represented (to use your own words) how hard work, honesty, and determination can lift a person off his knees and get him to touch the sky. You have touched all our lives. For those who knew you as a father and a friend, it was a blessing. For those who didn’t you were a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success. I love you with all my heart.”

The four-time Asian Games Gold Medalist had recently recuperated in a Chandigarh hospital before passing away on Friday.

Several celebrities including President Ramnath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Modi, and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh took to Twitter to pay their condolences.