Neeraj Chopra dedicates Gold medal to late Milkha Singh

Indian athletics legend Milkha Singh passes away

NEWLY-CROWNED OLYMPIC Gold-medallist Neeraj Chopra on Saturday dedicated his historic achievement of winning independent India's first Olympic Gold medal in track and field to the late sprint legend Milkha Singh.

“Milkha Singh wanted to hear the national anthem in a stadium. He is no longer with us but his dream has been fulfilled,” the 23-year-old javelin thrower said, dedicating the achievement to the India's "Flying Sikh", who had finished fourth in the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Milkha, 91, breathed his last in Chandigarh in June after battling COVID-19 for a month.

“What a show @Neeraj_chopra1! Dad waited so many years for this to happen. His dream has finally come true with India’s first athletic Gold. I am crying as I tweet this. And I am sure dad is crying up above. Thank you for making this happen,” Jeev Milkha Singh posted on his official Twitter account.

“Not only did you win us a first-ever athletics Gold medal in the #OlympicGames, you even dedicated it to my father. The Milkha family is eternally grateful for this honour,” he added.

The iconic sprinter had often talked about his deep desire to see an Indian win a track and field Olympic medal.

At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, PT Usha came close to winning a medal in women’s 400m hurdles but, like Milkha, finished fourth.