Sports University in Patiala to have a chair after Milkha Singh’s name

Milkha became the first Indian athlete to win an individual gold in a Commonwealth Games, which led to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declaring a national holiday on his request.

A chair will be established after Milkha Singh’s name at the Sports University, Patiala, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced on Saturday.

The legendary track and field athlete Milkha Singh died of COVID-19 related complications on Friday night. “We are going to have a Milkha Singh Chair in Sports University, Patiala,” the Chief Minister told reporters outside Milkha’s Sector 8 residence.

Singh, accompanied by state Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, had gone to meet Milkha’s son Jeev and other family members to offer his condolences.

Milkha became the first Indian athlete to win an individual gold in a Commonwealth Games, which led to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declaring a national holiday on his request.

During his visit to the Milkha residence here, Singh was carrying a picture of the sprinter with Nehru. “…this was the picture taken with Pandit Ji (Nehru) when he had declared a national holiday in 1960. I wish I could have made it a national holiday, but I cannot do that,” Singh said.

“We (Punjab govt) have declared state mourning and the flag (tricolour) will fly half-mast. We are according a state funeral,” he added

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