20 January, 2021

Record Breaking Feet

Paramjeet Singh does the impossible—break Milkha Singh's record. His next stop: a medal at the Asian Games.

Record Breaking Feet

HIS parents had often teased him about it. "What use is all that running," they told him, "if you can't even equal the Flying Sikh's record." Last week, Paramjeet Singh, 26, did one better. He broke it. By 0.3 seconds, the lad from Punjab overtook the 38-year-old unbroken national standard Milkha Singh set in the Rome Olympics in 1960 when he clocked 45.73 sec in the 400 m run, missing the bronze by a whisker.

That day of the National Open Athletics meet, Paramjeet had little inkling that he would step into record-breaking territory. When the gun fired in Calcutta's half-empty Salt Lake stadium to kick off the 400 m run, Paramjeet had blasted off the blocks, hotly chased by three runners. As they shot forward in a blur of flashing arms and legs, Paramjeet knew he had to run faster; fellow runner Jata Shankar was breathing down his neck. So the 6-ft 2-in sprinter, known for his fluid, graceful and smooth running action tapped into the reserves of his 71 kg frame, timed his kicks better, and lunged for the finishing line....



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

In this article:

More from Soutik Biswas

Latest Magazine

January 25, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section