“Abhi tak toh mujhe koi aadmi aisa nazar nahi aata jo aaney walein Olympics Games ke andar athletics mein medal jeet paye (Till now, I don’t see anyone who can win a medal in athletics in Olympics),” the 92-year-old former sprinter told reporters in Mumbai.
The ‘Flying Sikh’, popularly known as, was speaking on the eve of the Indian Sports Honours 2019, which are being instituted by Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and RP-SG. Milkha also revealed that he would be accorded with the award during the function.
“Kid, you have spoken about the Olympics, but I will speak to you more about athletics … I, Gurbachan (Singh) Randhawa, PT Usha, Anju Bobby Geroge and Sriram Singh reached the final (in the Olympics) but could not get a medal,” he rued.
Milkha is remembered the most for finishing in the fourth place of the 400m final in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. Randhawa had finished fifth in the 110m hurdles at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, while PT Usha came fourth in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Anju Bobby George was placed fifth in the 2004 Athens Games.
“If we have to win a medal in the Olympics, we will have to keep the athletes at one place and train them. Then (only) we can win a gold medal in the Olympics,” Milkha suggested.
In the meanwhile, gymnast Dipa Karmakar informed that her “fitness was good” amid concerns of injury.
Current and former India cricketers Smriti Mandhana, Zaheer Khan, Ajinkya Rahane, and Yuvraj Singh as well as chief badminton national coach Pullela Gopichand were amongst an array of other athletes and celebrities who attended the award function.
The 2020 Summer Olympics will begin on 24th July, 2020.