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The day Milkha Singh became ‘Flying Sikh’! Real story of Pandit Nehru’s request and stunning race in Pakistan

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(Credit score: The Indian Categorical)

A lot has been written about ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh’s memorable Pakistan journey within the 12 months 1960 when he defeated Pakistani ace athlete Abdul Khaliq on his residence turf however not many are conscious of the back-story to the runoff of the occasion. After defeating Khaliq within the Asian Video games, Milkha Singh was invited by Pakistan to take part in a race with Khaliq together with different notable athletes from the 2 international locations. Whereas the eventual victory of Milkha Singh towards Khaliq stays etched within the collective reminiscence of the nation, there are different noteworthy occasions together with then PM Nehru convincing the athlete to take part within the race occasion. In an unique interview to the Indian Categorical, Singh recollected the invitation he had obtained from Pakistan and the way he had initially refused to take part within the race owing to his tragic previous through the partition. Singh stated that he might always remember the evening his mother and father had been killed in communal violence in Pakistan and outrightly refused to go to the Pakistan race occasion.

Nevertheless, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru referred to as Milkha Singh to his residence and satisfied the athlete to go to Pakistan. Recalling the incident, Singh stated that he couldn’t refuse Pandit Nehru and left for Pakistan the subsequent day. True to the India-Pakistan sports activities rivalry, when Singh entered into Pakistan from the Wagah border, he was welcomed profusely in an open jeep embellished with flowers and banners that talked about “Milkha Singh aur Abdul Khaliq ki takkar,India-Pakistan ki takkar.” Milkha Singh recalled that he quickly realised that the Pakistanis needed to see if he was higher than their ace athlete Abdul Khaliq.

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The stadium on the subsequent day was full of greater than 7,000 individuals with then Pakistan President Basic Ayub Khan current within the stands. The guts of Indian contingent pounded when Khaliq took the preliminary lead however 50 metre to the end line, Singh caught up and defeated Khaliq with a margin. The defeat of their ace athlete for the second time in a row by the hands of Milkha Singh left the stadium in mourning and Basic Khan remarked that Singh didn’t run that day, he flew. If I’m referred to as Flying Sikh, then the credit score goes to Pakistan, Singh had remarked within the interview.

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