New Delhi, June 10: Former India boxer Dingko Singh, who shot to fame after winning a gold at the 1998 Asian Games held at Bangkok, passed away on Thursday (June 10) after battling with prolonged illness. Dingko was 42.
Following that gold winning effort, Dingko was given the Arjuna Award in 1998 and was later bestowed with Padma Shri in 2013.
"I'm shocked and deeply saddened by the demise of Shri N Dingko Singh earlier in the morning today. A Padma Shri awardee, Dingko Singh was one of the most outstanding boxers Manipur has ever produced. My sincere condolences to the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace," Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted.
Dingko actively pursued his career in Indian Navy once his boxing days are over but misfortune came to his life in the form of liver cancer and had to leave his job at NIS Patiala. Dingko had to undergo surgery in 2017 and a part of his liver had to be removed to prevent the advancement of the illness.
But the treatment took a heavy toll on him and even had to sell his house in Imphal, Manipur, to raise fund to meet the hospital expenses. In fact, former India opener Gautam Gambhir provided financial help to Dingko once the costs began to spiral over.
To make the matters worse, Dingko had contracted Covid-19 in 2020 but he recovered after treatment.
Dingko was also a torchbearer in terms of boxing in the country as he gave sparks to boxers like Mary Kom, Vijender Singh and L Sarita Devi through his achievements. It is not wrong to say that Dingko was the path-breaker in boxing in the country that waited for a quality pugilist for a long time.
"Oja, Dingko Ngangom, you were my inspiration, my childhood hero. It breaks my heart into pieces that you are gone too soon. Your memory will never leave us and live long in our hearts. #Heartbroken," Sarita wrote on social media.