Milkha Singh or the Flying Sikh, as he is famously known as, is undoubtedly one of the best athletes to have emerged out of India.
One of the earliest sporting heroes of the independent India, Singh enjoyed a distinguished career while plying his trade for India in the 200m and 400m sprints at the international level.
One of the best moments of Singh’s career and one of the biggest heartbreak of his career occurred simultaneously. Representing India in the 400m sprint at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Singh set a national record at the final of the event.
Though the national record went on to stay for almost four decades, it wasn’t enough to earn the young Singh an Olympic medal as he had to settle for the fourth position by just one-hundredth of a second.
The disappointment of missing out on an Olympic medal still seems to haunt Singh, or as can be made out from his statement during the Fit India dialogue with the Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijijiu.
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Speaking during the dialogue Singh said, “I had participated in around 80 international races before the 1960 Rome Olympics and whenever I used to win and the tricolour was raised along with the national anthem, I used to have tears of joy in my eyes. It is my last wish to see an Indian win a gold medal at athletics in the Olympics and raise the tricolour at the global stage.”
Rijiju, on Sunday, shared a clip of this on his twitter account and tweeted, “I promise you that we will work hard to fulfill your last wish, which is something the whole country is hoping for. I pray for your long and healthy life Milkha Singh Ji.”