By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], June 19 (ANI): Former Indian middle-distance runner Sriram Singh mourned the demise of Milkha Singh and said that the legendary sprinter inspired the young generation with his dedication.
One of the country's earliest sports heroes, Milkha died of COVID-19 related complications in a hospital in Chandigarh late on Friday night, leaving the whole nation in shock and disbelief.
Sriram Singh, who was seventh in the 800m in the 1976 Olympic Games, remembered his "senior" Milkha Singh and termed his death as an "irreparable" loss to the nation.
"It's very sad to learn about the demise of great Milkha Singh Ji. He was my senior and was CWG gold medalist. He had played Asian games and Olympics which inspired the younger generation. He was a great runner who made our country proud of his hard work and dedication," Sriram told ANI.
"There are so many memories with him, he always used to guide people and was a very positive man. Two days back I had called him up and he was recovering. He was unlucky otherwise he would have had an Olympic medal. His loss is irreparable and the whole nation will always remember him. I express my heartfelt condolences to the family, he added.
Milkha had a personal best of 20.7 seconds in 200m in Lahore on January 31, 1960. It set him up for a gallant show in the Rome Olympic Games where he clocked a National Record time of 45.6 seconds in the 400m final on September 6.
Besides his 1960 Olympic Games heroics, Milkha Singh will be remembered for his victory in the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff. He won gold in the 440-yard sprint in a Games Record time of 46.6 seconds. (ANI)