6 "path-breakers" in Indian sports
2. Milkha Singh (Athletics)
The name ‘Milkha Singh’ doesn’t require any introduction; he is perhaps the most well-known pioneer and ambassador of Indian sports. He was the most prominent Indian figure in athletics for a long time before the heroics of PT Usha in the 1980s.
The ‘Flying Sikh’ is the first to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games from independent India, and he also won four gold medals across two Asian Games in 1958 (Tokyo) and 1962 (Jakarta). But the most memorable and at the same time disappointing moment of his career came at the 1960 Rome Olympics, where he missed out on a bronze medal in the 400-metre sprint category by a whisker.
Having taken only 0.1 seconds more than South African Malcolm Spence to cross the fninsh line, Milkha was denied the opportunity of being the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in Athletics. Milkha’s achievements are unparalleled by any Indian till now, and he is a trend-setter in the truest sense of the term.Published 16 Aug 2016, 16:32 IST