India and New Zealand started their battle in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) as play finally got underway on Day 2 at Southampton. The Indian team came out to the ground wearing black armbands to pay their respect to the ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh who passed away due to post Covid-19 complications on the 18th of June, Friday.
Milkha Singh, 91, was one of the greatest athletes in the history of Indian sport and had been battling Covid-19 for over a month. He finally succumbed to the virus yesterday. Tragically, just five ago his wife Nirmal Kaur, a former India volleyball captain, had lost her battle with the virus at the same Mohali hospital where the great runner breathed his last.
Milkha had tested positive for the virus on the 20th of May and was admitted to a private hospital in Mohali (near Chandigarh) on May 24. After being discharged on May 30 he was again admitted to the Covid ward of the Nehru Hospital Extension at PGIMER on June 3 when his oxygen levels dipped. He had tested negative on Thursday and was shifted to the medical ICU. However his condition worsened on Friday evening and he developed complications including fever and dipping oxygen saturation levels and finally succumbed to the virus late yesterday night.
A number of famous celebrities from bollywood stars to former sportspersons paid their tribute to the legendary athlete.
Milkha Singh is the only Indian athlete to win gold in the 400 metres race at the Asian Games as well the Commonwealth Games. He also won gold medals in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. He represented India in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his outstanding achievements.