Reading Comprehension about Milkha Singh with Answers

It is a moderately easy comprehension passage about Milkh Singh, an Indian athlete, who brought laurels to India in Olympic Games. Students of classes 6-12 can practise the passage to hone their reading and writing skills in the English language.

Reading Comprehension about Milkha Singh with Answers

(1) Milkha Singh, also known as The Flying Sikh, was an Indian track and field sprinter who was introduced to the sport while serving in the Indian Army. He is the only athlete to win gold in 400 metres at the Asian Games as well as the Commonwealth Games. He also won gold medals in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. He represented India in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his sporting achievements.

2) The race for which Singh is best remembered is his fourth-place finish in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Olympic Games. He led the race till the 200 m mark before easing off, allowing others to pass him. Singh’s fourth-place time of 45.73 seconds was the Indian national record for almost 40 years.

(3) From the beginnings that saw him orphaned and displaced during the partition of India, Singh became a sporting icon in the country. In 2008, journalist Rohit Brijnath described Singh as “the finest athlete India has ever produced”. 

(4) He was disappointed with his debut performance at the 1956  Melbourne Olympics. “I returned to India, chastened by my poor performance in Melbourne. I had been so excited by the prospects of being part of the Indian Olympics team, but, hadn’t realized how strong and professional the competition would be. My success in India had filled me with a false sense of pride and it was only when I was on the track that I saw how inconsequential my talents were when pitted against superbly fit and seasoned athletes. It was then that I understood what competition actually meant, and that if I wanted to succeed in the international arena, I must be prepared  to test my mettle against the best athletes in the world.”

(5) Then he decided to make sprinting the sole focus of his life. “Running had thus become my God, my religion and my beloved.” “My life during those two years was governed by strict rules and regulations and a self-imposed penance. Every morning I would rise at the crack of dawn, get into my sports kit and dash off to the track, where I would run two or three miles cross-country in the company  of my coach.”

(6) On how he pushed himself through the tough days of vigorous training. “I practised so strenuously that often I was drained of all energy, and there were times when I would vomit blood or drop-down unconscious through sheer exercise. My doctors and coaches warned me and asked me to slow down to maintain my health and equilibrium but my determination was too strong to give up. My only focus was to become the best athlete in the world. But then images of a packed stadium filled with cheering spectators, wildly applauding me as I crossed the finishing line, would flash across my  mind and I would start again, encouraged by visions of victory.” 

Unseen Passage 2022 with Subjective Question Answers

Based on your reading answer any five questions from the six given below (1*5) (i) What is Milka Singh known as? What realization did Milkha Singh have when he was on the track during the Melbourne Olympics?

ANS: Milkha Singh is known as the Flying Sikh. During the Melbourne Olympics, he realized that his international competitors were fitter and stronger than he and he needed to prepare himself more to succeed.

(ii) List any two of Milkha Singh’s achievements.

ANS: Milkha Singh is the only athlete to win a Gold medal in 400 meters in the Asian and Commonwealth Games. He also won the Gold medal in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games.

(iii) What strict rules and regulations did Milkha Singh follow?

ANS: Milkha Singh followed a strict rule of always waking up before sunrise. He used to run daily two or three miles cross country.

(iv) State two consequences of his hard and strenuous practice.

ANS: Sometimes his hard and strenuous exercise drained him so much that he vomited blood and even dropped unconscious many times.

(v) What motivated Milkha Singh to become the best athlete in the world?

Whenever he felt exhausted he visualised the images of crowd packed stadium cheering him up and applauding him near the finish line. It motivated him to become the best athlete in the world.

(vi) Explain the phrase ‘I would start again’ in the last sentence. 

ANS: Whenever he was on the verge of giving up and losing hope he would remember the cheerful faces of his spectators and encouraged himself to muster up the strength and again started practising.

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