Bollywood celebrities expressed their heartfelt tributes on the demise of legendary Indian Sprinter Milkha Singh.
Singh, 91, passed away at 11:30 pm on Friday in Chandigarh. He had tested positive for COVID-19 in May this year.
Actor Akshay Kumar expressed deep condolences on the demise of track legend on his Twitter handle and wrote, "Incredibly sad to hear about the demise of Milkha Singh ji. The one character I forever regret not playing on-screen! May you have a golden run in heaven, Flying Sikh. Om shanti, Sir."
Global star Priyanka Chopra Jonas also mourned the demise of the former athlete and recalled how his aura made their first meeting special.
"Warm and welcoming, you made our first meeting so so special. I have been inspired by your excellence, touched by your humility, influenced by your contribution to our country. Om Shanti #Milkha ji. Sending love and prayers to the family," she tweeted.
Megastar Shah Rukh Khan too paid an emotional tribute to Singh on Twitter and wrote, "The Flying Sikh may no longer be with us in person but his presence will always be felt and his legacy will remain unmatched... An inspiration to me... an inspiration to millions. Rest in Peace Milkha Singh sir."
Taapsee Pannu seems to have been numb by the sad news of the demise of India's 'Flying Singh' as she wrote, "And he flew away," with a broken heart emoticon.
Actor Farhan Akhtar had played the role of Milkha Singh in the latter's biopic, 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', which released in 2013. It was directed by filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.
The film chronicled the athlete's struggles in his professional and personal life before he went on to attain glory. Penning an emotional note on the death of the legendary athlete, Farhan said, "Dearest Milkha ji, A part of me is still refusing to accept that you are no more. Maybe it’s the stubborn side I inherited from you.. the side that when it sets it’s mind on something, just never gives up. And the truth is that you will always be alive. Because you were more than a large hearted, loving, warm, down to earth man."
Check his full post here:
Actress Raveena Tandon wrote, "Had the honour of meeting you Sir, you will always have a special place in all our hearts ! Whenever we need to be inspired, “bhaag milkhe bhaag,” will resound in our ears ! Om Shanti."
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted, "Sad to hear demise of #MilkhaSingh ji Broken heart. Been a great inspiration will remain in our hearts forever."
The bereaved family informed about the death of the former Indian Sprinter, also known as the Flying Sikh, in a statement.
"It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away. He fought hard but God has his ways and it was perhaps true love and companionship that both our mother Nirmal Ji and now Dad have passed away in a matter of 5 days," the family said.
The former Indian sprinter had tested positive for COVID-19 last month and was in isolation at his home in Chandigarh before he was admitted to the ICU of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) hospital in Chandigarh.
In a statement, PGIMER informed that Milkha Singh was admitted to the ICU of COVID Hospital of PGIMER on June 3.
"He was treated for COVID there till June 13 when after putting up a valiant battle with COVID, Milkha Singh Ji tested negative. However, due to post- Covid complications, he was shifted out of COVID Hospital to medical ICU. But despite the best of efforts by the medical team, Milkha Singh ji could not be retrieved from his critical condition and after a brave fight, he left for his heavenly abode at 11.30 pm on 18th June 2021 here at PGIMER," the Hospital said.
The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold-medallist and 1958 Commonwealth Games champion. He is still the only Indian athlete to win Gold in the Asian and Commonwealth Championship. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honor, in recognition of his sporting achievements.
He is survived by one son and three daughters. His son Jeev Milkha Singh is also a renowned Golfer.
Singh's wife and former Captain of the Indian Women National Volleyball team, Nirmal Milkha Singh succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 85 on June 13.