The entire country paid glowing tribute to Indian sprint legend Milkha Singh, who died on Friday, after a month-long battle with COVID-19, during which he lost his wife Nirmal Kaur, a former national volleyball captain, to the same ailment.
From Neeraj Chopra to Harbhajan Singh to Saina Mirza, India's top sportsperson mourned the passing away of one of the country's biggest sporting icons.
Javelin star Neeraj Chopra: "We lost a Gem. He will always remain as an inspiration for every Indian. May his soul Rest in peace."
Olympian Anju Bobby George: "A huge loss for the sport of athletics today. Rest well #MilkhaSingh ji,"
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju: "India has lost its star. Milkha Singh Ji has left us but he will continue to inspire every Indian to shine for India. My deepest condolences to the family. I pray for his soul to rest in peace,"
Sports Authority of India (SAI): "A gold medalist at the CWG & Asian Games, he held the 400m National record for 38 years. Condolences to his family & the millions whom he inspired," the SAI said in a tweet.
Athletics Federation of India: "Very very sad news for all #Indians, legend Shri Milkha Singh Ji passed away. 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."
Indian sprinter Mohamad Anas Yahiya: "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"
Harbhajan Singh: "Very sad, heartbreaking to hear flying sikh Sardar Milkha singh ji is no more... waheguru RIPMilkhaSinghji."
Sania Mirza: "Had the honour of meeting you and you blessed me so many times .. the kindest and warmest Palms up together RIP Milkha Singh sir .. the world will miss a legend like you ..MilkhaSingh."
Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia: "Really shocked and sad to learn about the passing away of the legend Milkha Singh ji. Om Shanti."
Jwala Gutta: "What an inspiration you were to the millions like us…. There will be none like you sir Rest in peace legend MilkhaSingh."
Sourav Ganguly: “Extremely saddened by this news ..RIP ,India's one of the greatest sportsmen..you have made young Indians dream of becoming an athlete…had the privilege of knowing you so closely…”
Mary Kom: “Really sad about the demise of our national hero and a legend Shri Milkha Singh ji. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. RIP #MilkhaSingh”
Shubhankar Sharma: “#Milkha Uncle no more, it is unbelievable!#Chandigarh won't be the same city, forever. I am lucky to have met and inspired by him at various stages of my life. Every time I would meet him, there was a different lesson to take home. Such was his aura and presence. #RestInPeace”
Mohammad Azharuddin: “Extremely saddened by the passing away of Milkha Singh. He was the father figure for all sportsmen. May his soul rest in peace.”
Hima Das: “After winning World Championship U20 title and medal in Asian Games, I still remember a call from #MilkhaSingh sir that ‘Hima, just keep on working hard, you have ample time and you can win a Gold medal for our country at a global level’. I will try to fulfill your dream sir.”
Jasprit Bumrah: “A hero, an inspiration, a legend. His legacy will live on for generations to come. Rest in Peace, Milkha Singh sir.”
Rishabh Pant: “India says goodbye to an icon and an inspiration. Your legacy will keep guiding and inspiring generations of sportsperson. Rest in peace, sir. #MilkhaSinghJi”
Virender Sehwag: “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. What a man. My sincere condolences to his family. Om Shanti.”
Shikhar Dhawan: “RIP #MilkhaSingh ji. You've left behind a legacy that will inspire generations of Indian athletes. My thoughts and prayers with his family.”
Pankaj Advani: “Sad to hear about the demise of champion Milkha Singh. Condolences to the family. RIP.”
Hardik Pandya: “RIP #MilkhaSingh Sir. A true legend and inspiration. You showed the world that you can achieve anything against all odds. Condolences to his friends and family."
Yuvraj Singh: “Heartbreaking news of the passing away of Milkha Singh ji. His life and accomplishments will continue to inspire millions and in these memories, he will be eternal. My deepest condolences to Jeev and the family @JeevMilkhaSingh.”
VVS Laxman: “Sad to hear the passing away of the legend #MilkhaSingh ji. His legacy will live on for generations to come. My heartfelt condolences to his family and well-wishers. Om Shanti.”
Irfan Pathan: “Absolute inspiration to our nation #RIP Milkha Singh.”
Venkatesh Prasad: “What #MilkhaSingh ji achieved through his grit, determination, hardwork and exemplary talent will remain a part of Indian sports folklore. A life to be celebrated. My Condolences to his family. Om Shanti.”
Yuzvendra Chahal: “There are sporting legends and then there is Milkha Singh ji, an inspiring story of overcoming obstacles to achieve sporting glory for anyone India. Hats off! RIP #MilkhaSingh.”
Dinesh Karthik: “Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of one of India's greatest athletes, Milkha Singh ji. May his soul rest in peace.”
Bajrang Punia: "I learned from you that ‘it's willpower, not skill’ and ‘it's never easy but you get better’. We will be forever grateful to you for inspiring an entire nation and making is believe in the spirit of sportsmanship. May you rest in peace. #MilkhaSingh sir om Shanti.”