Legendary athlete Milkha Singh still feels the pain of missing out of an Olympic medal five decades ago and says his last dream is to see an Indian win an Olympic gold in athletics.
"My last desire before I leave this world is that I want an Indian boy or a girl to win an Olympic gold medal for the country and for my sake. I failed to win it in Rome Olympics in 1960," Singh, nicknamed the “Flying Sikh,” told PTI.
"After 2-3 years, I may be no more. Just a few days back my dear friend Dara Singh, who was like a brother to me, passed away. Whether I will live for next few years more, it is up to God. I want to see an Indian win an Olympic gold in athletics," said the 82-year-old.
Milkha clocked 45.60 seconds in the 400m race at the 1960 Rome Olympics to finish fourth in a photo finish, beaten by Malcolm Spence of South Africa for the bronze.
Milkha won gold in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games, and is the only Indian man to win an individual athletics gold at the Commonwealth Games. He said the fact that no Indian has ever won an Olympic medal in athletics saddens him.
"Athletics is considered number one sport in the world, be it Olympics, Commonwealth or Asian Games. But since India gained Independence, only five reached the finals in athletics event and all failed to win a medal, myself including. Others were Gurbachan Singh Randhawa (1964), Shri Ram Singh (1976), P.T. Usha (1984) and Anju George. I feel ashamed that after 1947 we produced a number of athletes, but failed to win any medal," said Milkha.
Milkha knows that it would be a big ask for the current Indian athletes to win a medal in athletics in the upcoming London Olympics.
"Although it is my last desire that we should fetch a gold, but I know in reality it will be no less than a miracle if we do it in London. I have some hope from Krishna Poonia and she may get a bronze. She won gold in the Delhi Commonwealth Games," he said.