'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh, one of India's greatest Olympic athletes, dies at 91

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Track star Milkha Singh of India, a three-time Olympian who was known as the "Flying Sikh," has died at the age of 91 from complications caused by COVID-19.

Singh was a two-time Asian Games champion in the men's 400 meters and he placed fourth in the event at the 1960 Olympics in Rome -- when the first four finishers all broke the previous world record.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned Singh's death on Saturday, saying the country had lost a "colossal sportsperson."

Singh was one of India's most decorated athletes, and his life story was made into a movie, "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" (Run, Milkha, Run), that was released in 2013.

Track star Milkha Singh, "The Flying Sikh," one of India's most successful athletes who overcame childhood tragedy to seek Olympic glory, has died at 91 after a battle with COVID-19.
Track star Milkha Singh, "The Flying Sikh," one of India's most successful athletes who overcame childhood tragedy to seek Olympic glory, has died at 91 after a battle with COVID-19.

"Several budding athletes will derive strength from his life journey," Modi said. "My condolences to his family and many admirers all over the world."

Singh was the father of the former top-ranked golfer on the Asian Tour, Jeev Milkha Singh, and his death comes just days after his wife, former India volleyball captain Nirmal Kaur, died of COVID-related causes.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Flying Sikh,' Olympian Milkha Singh, dies at 91