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Country pays tribute to Milkha, PM Modi describes him 'colossal sportsperson'
The entire country paid glowing tribute to Indian sprint legend Milkha Singh, who died on Friday, with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing him as a "colossal sportsperson who captured the nation's imagination".
Milkha died in a Chandigarh hospital after a month-long battle with COVID-19, during which he lost his wife Nirmal Kaur, a former national volleyball captain, to the same ailment.
He was 91 and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.
''In the passing away of Shri Milkha Singh Ji, we have lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation's imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians,'' PM Modi said in a tweet. ''His inspiring personality endeared himself to millions. Anguished by his passing away.'' Sports Authority of India (SAI) expressed ''immense sadness at the demise of one of India’s greatest ever sportspersons 'The Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh. ''A gold medalist at the CWG & Asian Games, he held the 400m National record for 38 years. Condolences to his family & the millions whom he inspired,'' the SAI said in a tweet.
Athletics Federation of India said in a tweet: ''Very very sad news for all #Indians, legend Shri Milkha Singh Ji passed away.''