(ANSA) - ROME, JUN 19 - Coronavirus killed Milkha Singh at 91, known as the 'flying Sikh', one of the greatest legends of athletics in India, middle distance winner of several gold medals and who stood out at the Rome Olympics 1960 with a fourth place in the final of the 400 meters where he exhibited his proverbial long hair knotted on his head before the world, according to the custom of the Sikhs. Singhas survived as a teenager the extermination of his family in the religious violence following the independence of India in 1947, and the BBC he paid him a tribute as the man who "learned to run to save his life".
Singh, who died in hospital in Chandigarh, in northern India, survived the death of his wife, 85 / year old former volleyball champion Nirmal Kaur, who also surrendered to Covid, by just a few days.
Singh has won five gold medals in five Asian Athletics Championships and in 1959 he was honored with the Helms World Trophy for winning 77 of the 80 international competitions. It was also gold in the 1958 Commonwealth games.
Born in 1930 to a Sikh family in the British colony in a small village of Multan, he saw both parents and brothers and sisters die during the ethnic-religious violence following the partition between India and Pakistan contextual to the independence of 1947. In 2013 Bollywood also paid tribute to him with a film, "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" (Run Milkha, run), titled as the last words his father would have shouted at him before he was killed, in which he recalled his traumatic adolescence and established a prophetic link between those words and his future career sports: a talent that emerged during his militancy in the Indian army. (HANDLE).