The Olympic gold medal in Tokyo is a tribute to Milkha Singh: Neeraj Chopra


Guwahati: It took 125 years for an Indian to win an athletics medal at the Olympics. And Neeraj Chopra creates history tonight by winning the most coveted metal – a gold medal. 

This is undoubtedly India’s greatest sporting moment of the decade. India is a country that has traditionally struggled in athletics. The country’s only Olympic medal in track and field events came way back during the 1900 Paris Games, when Norman Pritchard clinched one silver medal each in 100m and 200m sprints.

While talking about his achievement, a visibly emotional Chopra remembered the great Milkha Singh and dedicated his gold medal to the legendary sprinter who was also widely known as The Flying Sikh.

“I dedicate this medal to Milkha Singh. I hope he’s watching upon me from wherever he is,” he told the media after becoming the first Indian to win gold in athletics.  Milkha Singh, PT Usha and Anju Bobby George had earlier come close to winning a medal in athletics at the Olympic Games but missed the podium by the smallest of margins. Neeraj took the opportunity and dedicated the medal to all the veteran athletes who missed out on a podium finish

Milkha Singh is considered the greatest Indian athlete ever born and had failed to win a medal. Taking part in the 1960 Rome Olympics, Milkha had finished fourth. Revered as the ‘Flying Sikh’, Singh was , one of the pioneers who showcased the strength of India on the world athletics stage.

Milkha passed away last month in June and could not see his dream fulfilled as we remember his last wish today.

He had said “I failed to win a medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics, and it hurts me till today. More than half a century has passed since then but no Indian has been able to win an Olympic medal in athletics. It is my last wish to see an Olympic medal around an Indian athletes’ neck on the podium at the Olympic Games.”

Today the ‘flying Sikh’ will be showering his blessings from heaven on the ‘flying Chopra’, who has made India proud, its countrymen proud, athletics proud, and the entire Indian sporting ecosystem proud. This medal is for Milkha Singh; this medal is for Neeraj Chopra and every Indian athlete who ever tried.