Punjab-born Fauja Singh, who defies age to run marathons, drew the loudest cheers today as the Olympic Torch was carried by him, Olympic medal winners and leading individuals through London amidst a welcome clear sky and sunshine.
Clad in all-white apparel and a matching white turban, the sprightly Singh carried the torch accompanied by hundreds of admirers, including Sikhs with yellow T-shirts bearing Singh’s image, who hailed him every moment of the distance he travelled.
Singh was born in 1911, and began running at 86 to keep himself occupied. He has since set several records for people of his age, running six London marathons, two Canada marathons and the New York marathon. Clearly a bit of a sensation for his achievements, his participation in the relay today was described by admirers and onlookers as “a moment of history”.
Singh, who carried the Olympics Torch in Athens eight years ago, now wants to carry it before the 2016 Olympics too, when he will be 105. Hundreds of Sikhs organised a ‘langar’ at 16 points along the torch relay route to celebrate Fauja Singh’s efforts.
The torch from Greenwich to Waltham Forest was carried by several Olympians, including Nadia Comaneci, and Indian-origin individuals who have excelled in various fields, such as Kaushali Trivedi (23), Natasha Sinha (15), Priya Rajgor (20) and Dhrashti Shah (16). The relay’s youngest and oldest (Fauja Singh) were among the 143 torch-bearers today.
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