Milkha Singh, the sprinting legend whose exploits earned him the nickname 'The Flying Sikh', died of COVID-19 complications on Friday.
Milkha's death prompted tributes from a variety of figures across public life, including sports and entertainment.
This included former World Championship bronze medallist long jumper Anju Bobby George, who finished fifth in the 2004 Athens Olympics, as well as current track and field athletes, including Hima Das, Neeraj Chopra and Muhammed Anas.
Heartbreaking to hear that flying Sikh legend Milkha Singh sir is no more. The nation will always remember you sir and seek an inspiration from your life forever. RIP #MilkhaSingh sir pic.twitter.com/wnASq5QUUf— Hima (mon jai) (@HimaDas8) June 18, 2021
A huge loss for the sport of athletics today. Rest well #MilkhaSingh ji.— Anju Bobby George (@anjubobbygeorg1) June 18, 2021
We lost a Gem. He will always remain as an inspiration for every Indian. May his soul Rest in peace🙏🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/7gT2x8Bury— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) June 18, 2021
Really shocked by the demise of the legend Milkha sir. You will forever have a very special place in my heart.The Flying Sikh will live forever. RIP— Muhammed Anas Yahiya (@muhammedanasyah) June 18, 2021
The Athletics Federation of India described Milkha as a 'Titan'.
A Titan who lifted the profile of athletics in a young nation, his sharp observations on Indian sport will be missed. His towering legacy will continue to inspire generations of young Indians. Rest in peace legend 🙏🏻 - @Adille1 President AFI pic.twitter.com/jtLKaGM2Bc— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) June 18, 2021
Current and former athletes from other sports also acknowledged Milkha's impact.
Rest in Peace our very own 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh ji.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 19, 2021
Your demise has left a deep void in every Indian's heart today, but you shall keep inspiring several generations to come. pic.twitter.com/ImljefeUEN
A hero, an inspiration, a legend. His legacy will live on for generations to come. Rest in Peace, Milkha Singh sir.— Jasprit Bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) June 18, 2021
We may not have seen you compete, but every time we ran fast as kids, we ran 'like Milkha Singh'. And for me, that will always be the legend you leave behind. You didn't just run, you inspired. Rest in peace, sir. #MilkhaSingh pic.twitter.com/SbwrqJJHx9— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 19, 2021
The great man #MilkaSingh ji has left us in body, but the name Milkha will always live on as being synonymous with courage and will-power.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 19, 2021
What a man. My sincere condolences to his family. Om Shanti 🙏 pic.twitter.com/AW2FbM3zg1
Had the honour of meeting you and you blessed me so many times .. the kindest and warmest 🤲🏽 RIP Milkha Singh sir .. the world will miss a legend like you .. #MilkhaSingh— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) June 18, 2021
India's greatest @Olympics runner. Shook the world in 60s with his competitive spirit inspite of the most limited facilities. He took the word determination and will to compete to another level. Respect. God bless your soul. Condolences to @JeevMilkhaSingh & family 🙏🏻 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/oiJlkdK6fh— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) June 19, 2021
Actor Farhan Akhtar, who played the role of Milkha in the biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run, Milkha, Run), wrote a note and shared a picture of himself with Milkha.
Other actors, as well as industrialist Anand Mahindra, also paid tribute to the athletics legend.
The Flying Sikh may no longer be with us in person but his presence will always be felt and his legacy will remain unmatched... An inspiration to me... an inspiration to millions. Rest in Peace Milkha Singh sir.— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) June 18, 2021
Incredibly sad to hear about the demise of #MilkhaSingh ji. The one character I forever regret not playing on-screen!— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) June 19, 2021
May you have a golden run in heaven, Flying Sikh. Om shanti, Sir 🙏🏻
How can my generation explain what Milkha Singh meant to us?— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) June 18, 2021
He wasn't just an athlete. To a society still suffering the insecurities of post-colonialism he was a sign that we could be the best in the world. Thank you, Milkha Singhji, for giving us that confidence. Om Shanti 🙏🏽