Legendary athlete Milkha Singh still lives with the pain of missing out on an Olympic medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He is still hopeful of an Indian athlete winning an Olympic gold during his lifetime.
His dream may come true in the 2016 Rio Olympics. But one man who has a burning desire to bring in an 'Olympic gold' from Brazil is none other than his son and an ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh.
With golf being included in the next Olympics, Jeev sees it as an opportunity to give his father a rare moment to hold an Olympic medal in his hands and announce to the world that one from the Milkha family has finally won an Olympic medal for India.
A veteran of more than 200 international golf tournaments, Jeev has been India's most celebrated golfer for the last two decades. "I would like to win an Olympic medal and the Masters. It's a proud moment for me that golf is making its debut at the Olympics during my playing career. It was always my desire to represent India at the Olympics and I am lucky enough that this opportunity has come during my time," Jeev told dna here after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Indian Golf Industry Association (IGIA) for his contribution to the game.
His four wins on the European Tour and two-time Asian Tour's Order of Merit are enough to judge his achievements over the years. Asked why an Olympic medal was so important for him, Jeev said: "Obviously for my father. My father competed in the 1960 Rome Olympics. If I get the medal, I would be fulfilling my father's wish to see another 'Milkha' winning the medal. I'll give my best shot at Rio."
The 44-year-old golfer has been out of action for the last two months due to injuries but he's planning to make a comeback at the Spanish Open starting on May 11. "Injuries had set me back and that was frustrating. I had taken a gap of two months to rejuvenate myself, healing my shoulder. I had been tired of playing golf with a lot of pain for the last two years. I wasn't enjoying the game. I want to be physically and mentally fit before making a possible comeback at the Spanish Open," said Jeev.
On the growing competition within India, Jeev felt that it's good for the game that is growing tremendously in the country over the last few years. "The competition has surely grown for me. I still feel that game is on my side.
I still have the fire to play at the highest level and compete with these boys. In a way, it's good for me. I see these guys hitting the ball so far, so I also feel that I should also hit the same distance. I have not grown that old. I am 44 but yet not finished," said the golfer in praise of young golfers like Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar, SSP Chawrasia and Rashid Khan.
"Lahiri has a lot of desire to succeed. He is a complete package, a world-beater. Making the cut for the Masters was a big thing in his first appearance. I have played Masters three times and I can still remember that I was very nervous on my debut but I managed to do well. I would say Lahiri, Gaganjeet, Chawrasia, and Rashid are all very good. But if you ask me who has impressed me the most, then I would pick Lahiri because he has proven himself on the international stage," added Jeev.