Patna: Olympian Milkha Singh, the former track and field sprinter who won a gold in the Commonwealth games along with a number of medals in various national and international events, was in Patna on Saturday to participate in the half-marathon that would be held in the state capital on Sunday.

Speaking at a press conference at Hotel Panache, Milkha, also a Padma Shri Award recipient, said that the government must provide top-notch sporting facilities to the athletes to prepare them for major national and international competitions so they could bring glories to both their home states and the nation.

Ruing lack of Indian presence in the list of winners in major international games like Olympics, Commonwealth, and Asian events, Singh said that it was both unfortunate and embarrassing to note that India, with a population of 1.2 billion, had not produced another Milkha Singh in the last 60 years.

"I am here to participate in Patna's first ever half-marathon to encourage and inspire young athletes of Bihar that has no dearth of talent," he said.

The former Olympian will flag-off the half-marathon event at 6:00 am on Sunday

More than 4000 runners from all over the country will be participating in the 21km, 10km, and 4km races, program director Aditya Giri said.

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