Milkha Singh, one of the biggest names in Indian sport and the country’s first track and field superstar, passed away Friday night after a month-long battle with Covid-19. The legendary Indian athlete lived till 91, but the legend and legacy of the ‘Flying Sikh’ will live on forever, continuing to inspire young athletes with his story. Milkha Singh took his last breathe in Chandigarh on Friday night.
The first Superstar who did not Run but Flew and the whole nation looked at him with pride
Life Story and Achievements of Milkha Singh
Milkha Singh National record of 200m and 400m
Milkha Singh reached the 1956 Melbourne Olympics as a raw talent. His performance that year was not good. But in the years to come, Milkha not only refined and carved himself but also made many records in his name. The national records of 200 meters and 400 meters were in Milkha’s name. However, Milkha was not great only because of the Rome Olympics. Milkha’s achievements in the Indian track and field are immense.
Milkha Singh recognized as Aisa’s most Dedicated Athlete
Milkha Singh was recognized as an athlete who was extremely passionate and dedicated. At the 1958 Tokyo Asian Games, he won gold medals in the 200m and 400m. In the Melbourne Olympics, Milkha could not qualify for the final event. But they wanted to move on.
He spoke to Charles Jenkins of America. Jenkins was a gold medalist in the 400m and 4x400m relay. He asked Jenkins how he trains. What is their routine? Jenkins shared everything with Milkha with a big heart.
Milka Singh made a National record in Asian Games
Milkha was then 27 years old. For the next two years, he vigorously followed Jenkins’ routine. It also benefited. Milkha made a national record in the 1958 Asian Games. Milkha Singh was very fond of running 400 meters. Here he won the gold medal in 47 seconds. Milkha Singh took almost two seconds less than Pablo Somblingo, who won the silver medal.
Milkha Singh said he was afraid Only by Makhan on the track
After this incident of 1960, Milkha Singh once again showed enthusiasm. And won two more gold medals in the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games. The big challenge for Milkha was rising star, Makhan Singh. Makhan had defeated Milkha in the National Championship that year. Milkha had also said later, ‘If I was afraid of anyone on the track, it was Makhan. He was a great athlete. He made me do my best.
Milkha Singh Defeated arch-rivals, Abdul Khalid of Pakistan
The second gold medal was even more special. In the 200 meters race, Milkha defeated arch-rival Pakistan’s, Abdul Khalid. Khalid won the gold medal in the 100 meters with a new record for the Games. Khalid was called Asia’s best sprinter.
Milkha, but was in fine form. He made a new record for the Asian Games by winning the gold medal in just 21.6 seconds. At the finishing line, he fell due to a strain on his leg muscles. He won by a margin of 0.1 seconds and people assumed that this athlete had a lot to achieve.
Milkha Singh created a History in Commonwealth Games
Milkha’s spirits were high after winning two gold medals in the Asian Games. Now it was the turn of the Commonwealth Games. Here Milkha achieved what is to date one of the most memorable moments in the world of Indian athletics. His achievement in the Asian Games was amazing. But at the Commonwealth Games, which were then called the ‘Empire Games’, Milkha had a chance to prove himself to some of the best athletes in the world.
Milkha Singh was not sure of Winning the Gold Medal
Milkha had said in an interview to Times of India many years later, ‘I was not sure that I would be able to win the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. I couldn’t even believe it because I was running with world record holder Malcolm Spence. He was the best runner in 400 meters.
Milkha’s American coach Dr. Arthur Howard had recognized Spence’s strategy. He saw that he ran fast at the end. And in such a situation, he asked Milkha to run with all his might in the entire race. Milkha’s trick was successful. And in the race of 440 yards, Milkha was ahead from start to finish. During this, he also made a new national record by taking a time of 46.6 seconds.
Milkha Singh record stood for 52 years
Milkha became the first Indian to win a gold medal in track and field at the Commonwealth Games. His record stood for 52 years. Discus thrower Krishna Poonia won the gold medal in the 2010 Games. After this Vikas Gowda got the gold medal in 2014. There was a lot of celebration of Milkha Singh’s gold medal. At his request, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared a one-day national holiday.
Milkha Singh made 400 Meter National Record
1958 was the best year of Milkha’s career. After this, in 1959, he won many European events. He was getting ready for the 1960 Rome Olympics. Here he could not win but by taking a time of 45.73 seconds, he made a new national record of 400 meters. This event became associated with the identity of Milkha.
Milkha Singh has named in 10 Asian Gold
However, on the day of the 400m final of the Asian Games, Milkha again won the gold medal and defeated the young partner by a margin of half a second. The pair came together in the 4x400m team. He was accompanied by Daljit Singh and Jagdish Singh B. He won the gold medal, setting a record for the Asian Games. He took 3:10.2 seconds. In this way, Milkha’s name became a total of 10 Asian gold medals.
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Nikita Dhyani is a passionate writer. She basically writes on Health, Finance, and Politics related topics. She has explored many areas of interest and is being a part of the journalism industry.