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Milkha Singh passes away: His life was also full of struggles, has been an inspiration to me, says Dutee Chand

·2 min read

One of India's biggest sporting icons Milkha Singh passed away on Friday after a month-long battle with COVID-19. He was 91.

A four-time Asian Games gold medallist, Milkha was also known as 'The Flying Sikh' and represented India in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics.

His greatest performance came in the 1960 games where the former sprinter finished fourth in the 400m final. He was bestowed with the Padma Shri in 1959.

The news of his demise sent shock waves across the nations, with tributes pouring in from all corners.

Ace sprinter Dutee Chand paid rich tributes to the sporting icon, saying his life is an "inspiration" to her.

"His life was also full of struggles," Dutee told News18. "His biopic Bhag Milkha Bhag I have seen it five-six times. I can see some similarities between his struggles and mine. Didn't have proper diet, no track to run. Whatever hurdles I faced, he has faced them too. He even lost his parents. Can only imagine the hardships he had to go through and overcome to become what he did eventually. His life has been an inspiration to me."

Dutee added that the sprint great achieved all the success during a period where athletes hardly had any proper facilities available to them and that makes him an inspiration for "generations to come".

"His performance in (Rome) Olympics is the stuff of legends. We keep on complaining about unavailability of coaches, tracks and what not but at a time when it was hard to find proper running shoes and one used to practice barefoot, Milkha made it to the Olympics. That's the biggest thing. He will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come. "

Talking about the time she met the legend, Dutee said: "I met him once during an awards show in Delhi. He praised me for the way I was performing and said his blessings are with me and I should make India proud. I felt great."

Also See: Milkha Singh passes away: India pays tribute to 'colossal sportsperson', 'The Flying Sikh'

Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh passes away after prolonged battle against COVID-19

Milkha Singh: An unmatchable romance with a near miss

Read more on Sports by Firstpost.

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