Guwahati, June 19: Assam on Saturday mourned the death of Milkha Singh, popularly known as Flying Sikh, with political leaders and sports personalities paying their respects to the sprint legend.
Governor Jagdish Mukhi, in a statement said, "The death of Milkha Singh is a huge blow to sports, sports fraternity and sports lovers of the country. It is a terrible loss and will create a deep void. I am deeply saddened to learn about his death."
Although the void of his absence is not something repairable, the legend and legacy of the 'Flying Sikh' will forever live with the people, he added. "The sheer persona and name of the legend will continue to inspire the young team of players across the board to dream big and push their boundary beyond any limit," Mukhi said.
He also expressed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "Saddened at the demise of 'Flying Sikh' Captain Milkha Singh. His laurels had not only made India swell with pride but also inspired generations of sports enthusiasts. My condolences to his family." Paying her tribute to the track legend, international sprinter 'Dhing Express' Hima Das tweeted, "After winning World Championship U20 title and medal in Asian Games, I still remember a call from #MilkhaSingh sir that Hima just keep on working hard, you have ample time and you can win a Gold medal for our country at a global level.
"I will try to fulfill your dream sir", she added. Olympic-bound boxer Lovlina Borgohain also paid her last respect to one of the biggest sporting icons of the country on the microblogging site.
Former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, "A legend is gone. Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of one of India's greatest athletes, Milkha Singh ji. I join the nation in mourning for the Flying Sikh, whose footsteps touched the wind and gave joy to millions."
Taking to Twitter, Assam Pradesh Congress president Ripun Bora said, "COVID takes away another precious life. Shri Milkha Singh ji was a track legend to put India at the biggest sporting stage & a trailblazer who demanded excellence from all those who represented the country.
"Your contribution is unimaginable. You will forever live in our hearts." Singh died of COVID-19 related complications at a Chandigarh hospital on Friday night, less than a week after he lost his wife, Nirmal Kaur, a former national volleyball captain, to the same ailment.