(ANSA) – ROME, JUN 19 – Coronavirus killed Milkha Singh at 91, known as the ‘flying Sikh’, one of the greatest legends of athletics in India, middle-distance runner who won several gold medals and who stood out to 1960 Rome Olympics with a fourth place in the final of the 400 meters where he showed the proverbial long hair knotted on his head in front of the world, according to the custom of the Sikhs. Singha survived as a teenager the extermination of his family in the religious violence following independence of India in 1947, and the BBC paid him a tribute as the man who “learned to run to save his life”.
Singh, who died in hospital in Chandigarh, in northern India, only survived the death of his wife, 85 / year old former volleyball champion Nirmal Kaur, who also surrendered to Covid.
Singh has won five gold medals in five Asian athletics championships and in 1959 he was honored with the Helms World Trophy for winning 77 of the 80 international competitions. It was also gold in the 1958 Commonwealth Games.
Born in 1930 to a Sikh family in a British colony in a small village in Multan, he saw both his parents and seven brothers and sisters die during the ethnic-religious violence following the partition between India and Pakistan at the time of the independence of 1947. In 2013 also Bollywood paid tribute to him with a film, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” (Run Milkha, run), titled as the last words his father would have shouted at him before he was killed, in which he recalled his traumatic adolescence and made a connection. prophetic between those words and his future sports career: a talent that emerged during his militancy in the Indian army. (HANDLE).
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