Milkha Singh

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMilkha•Singh
Used nameMilkha•Singh
Nick/petnamesThe Flying Sikh
Original nameमिलखा•सिंह
Born17 October 1935 in Faisalabad, Punjab (PAK)
Died18 June 2021 in Chandigarh, Chandigarh (IND)
Measurements172 cm / 66 kg
NOC India


The first great athletics champion from India, Milkha Singh, known as “The Flying Sikh,” just missed a medal at the 1960 Roma Olympics when he finished fourth in the 400 metres. Singh won four gold medals at the Asian Games in 1958 and 1962, winning the 200 and 400 in 1958, and the 400 and 4x400 relay in 1962. He also won gold in the 440 yards at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and competed at the 1956 and 1964 Olympics.

Singh was born in the village of Govindpura, now part of Pakistan. He became an orphan after his parents and three siblings were killed during the Partition of India, and Singh fled the area and moved to Delhi, where he joined a refugee camp and a resettlement colony. His brother convinced him to join the Army in the early 1950s, where he was introduced to athletics.

In 1962 Singh married Nirmal Kaur, captain of India’s volleyball team, and together they had three daughters and a son. Their son, Jeev Milkha Singh, became a professional golfer who joined the European Tour in 1998. In 2003 Singh founded the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust, created to assist poor and needy sportspeople. In 2013 he released his autobiography, The Race of My Life, which was turned into the feature film “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”. In June 2021, Milkha Singh died after contracting COVID-19, only five days after his wife had also died from the virus.

Personal Bests: 200 – 20.7 (1960); 400 – 45.73 (1960).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics IND Milkha Singh
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 4 h2 r1/4
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 4 h5 r1/4
1960 Summer Olympics Athletics IND Milkha Singh
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) India DNS
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics IND Milkha Singh
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) India DNS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) India 4 h1 r1/2

Special Notes