Milkha Singh, India’s Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century

India has not a lot of a convention within the area of sports activities and hardly any within the males’s observe and area occasions. It’s onerous to reconcile {that a} nation of over a billion individuals has a paucity of heroes within the males’s observe and area occasions.

Monitor and area occasions encompass the velocity races and the occasions of brawn and energy just like the hammer throw, javelin and talk about throw. There may be additionally the marathon and the decathlon. However a have a look at the report books will present that just one title persistently pops up, Milkha Singh. It’s a matter of everlasting disgrace for the Indian nation that aside from Milkha Singh no different artificial a mark in any occasion on the worldwide stage in any observe and area sports activities for near 100 years.

The explanations for this are manifold and amongst them is the poor nationwide food regimen in proteins and lack of coaching amenities. Thus for Milkha Singh to have emerged from this morass is itself an amazing achievement.

Early Life

Milkha Singh was born within the Punjab right into a farmer’s household. Jobs in these days had been at a premium and Milk like many Sikhs from the Punjab joined the Indian military. Not many know that Milkha Singh was born in Pakistan in 1935 and had the mortification of seeing each his dad and mom being butchered earlier than his eyes through the 1947 partition riots.

His becoming a member of the military was a god ship as his commanding officer noticed his potential and inspired him to take up athletics. In these days there have been hardly any coaching amenities exterior the military and Milkha made full use of them. One more reason which he confessed later was the truth that athletes got particular rations and milk.

Worldwide Profession

Milkha took half within the 1956 Olympics at Melbourne, however was not a hit. However the expertise was invaluable for him and on his return he devoted himself to the 100m, 200m and the 400m. The last-named was his pet occasion and he excelled at it. We should keep in mind that what ever Milkha achieved was with none overseas coach and solely by his personal dedication and onerous work.

Milkha now burst on the Worldwide stage when on the 1958 Asian video games he received the gold medal in each the 200m and 400m occasions. Have we ever heard of any Indian athlete successful 2 gold medals in a observe occasion after him? Milkha clocked a time of 21.6 and 47 seconds respectively. This was the time the world took discover of a bearded Sikh with lengthy hair on the worldwide stage and nicknamed him because the ‘Flying Sikh’. He adopted up by successful the 400 m occasion on the Cardiff Commonwealth video games with a timing of 46.16 seconds. He was the primary Indian to win a gold medal on the commonwealth video games after independence. Milkha once more received a gold medal in 400m on the 1962 Asian video games.

1960 Rome Olympics

A phrase about Milkha’s efficiency on the 1960 Rome Olympics won’t be out-of-place. He was entered within the 400m and was the favourite to win the gold. In all of the heats earlier than the ultimate he certified simply and the day dawned as Milkha took the sphere within the finals of the 400m run. No Indian man earlier than and after him has ever entered the ultimate six of a dash occasion within the Olympics apart from Milkha Singh.

The race was misplaced by Milkha due to unhealthy planning. Because the race commenced Milkha shot within the lead and lead by a for the firs t 200m. Then inexplicably he slowed down for a fraction of a second. Later he realized he had made a tactical mistake as he was conserving his power for a final burst. However different athletess surged forward and Milkha broke the Olympic report however misplaced the race. He was positioned 4th and the very fact was that he had overwhelmed Spence and different winners in numerous occasions earlier. This was a bitter tablet for all Indians. Nevertheless India hailed its hero who had gladdened the hearts by being the one Indian ever to enter the ultimate of an Olympic occasion within the observe sprints.

Closing Phrase

Worldwide sports activities pundits hailed Milkha as an ideal athlete, the best who ever emerged from India. He was awarded the Padma Shree in 1959 and even Pandit Nehru hailed his exploits. There isn’t a doubt that Milkha was a person of indominatble spirit and he did India proud. However the unhappy half is that fifty years down the road no Indian man-made it to the finals of any dash occasion on the Olympics. That could be a tragedy. So allow us to bear in mind Milkha Singh the flying Sikh and resolve that India will produce not less than one other 100 flying Sikhs. Will it occur?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *