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Greatest Indian runners of all time

Milkha Singh
Milkha Singh is one of the greatest athletes to have represented India
Vidhi Shah
Modified 03 Mar 2017, 15:01 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

India is embarking on a running revolution of sorts. Today, the country hosts around 300 marathon events across the length and breadth of the country annually. But, where do all of these budding runners get their inspiration from?

Well, it is from the legendary runners that Indians have had in the past. Sportskeeda lists the greatest Indian runners of all time. 

#1 Milkha Singh

Unarguably the greatest male athlete in independent India, Milkha Singh was one of the first sportspersons to bring the nation into the international limelight with his accomplishments. After participating in the 1956 Olympic Games held in Melbourne, Milkha Singh’s first gold medals came forth at the Asian Games two years later in 1958 in the 200-metre and 400-metre race when he clocked 21.6 seconds and 47 seconds respectively.

However, the real glory that he fetched for independent India was at the 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games where he became the first athlete to win a gold medal for the nation when he raced to the finish line in the 400-metre race with a timing of 46.16 seconds. But the runner was stopped in his tracks when it came to the Olympics in Rome a couple of years later where he narrowly missed out on the bronze medal by just 0.1s despite his exceptional performance.

But that did not deter the ‘Flying Sikh’ as he went on to compete in the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games and claimed a double-gold in the 400-metre and 4x400-metre relay events. A living inspiration for athletes not only in the country but across the globe, Milkha Singh has just one unfulfilled wish, “My last desire before I die is that I want an Indian male or female to win an Olympic gold medal for the country. I failed to win it in Rome Olympics in 1960. But I want to see an Indian athlete doing it,” he was quoted as saying in the recent past. 

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Published 03 Mar 2017, 14:16 IST
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