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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Dingko Singh, Asian Games gold-winning boxer, dies after long battle with cancer

Dingko’s gold in the Bangkok Asiad was the first in 16 years for Indian boxing after Kaur Singh’s top finish at the regional showpiece’s 1982 edition.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
Updated: June 10, 2021 3:35:32 pm
Dingko Singh, Dingko Singh dies, Dingko Singh no more, Dingko Singh cancer, Dingko Singh covid 19, Boxer Dingko Singh dies, PM Modi, Indian expressDingko's gold in the Bangkok Asiad was the first in 16 years for Indian boxing after Kaur Singh's top finish at the regional showpiece's 1982 edition. (Twitter/KirenRijiju)

Former Asian Games gold medalist boxer Ngangom Dingko Singh passed away early Thursday morning at his Sekta Mayai Leikai residence, in Imphal East district, after battling a prolonged illness. He was 47.

Dingko had a long battle with liver cancer for which he received treatment in 2017. He also tested positive for Covid-19 last year but had recovered.

As soon as the news of Dingko’s demise broke, condolence messages poured in from all corners including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called the late boxer a “sporting superstar”.

Read | Ding’KO Singh: The hottest blood to ever come across

“Shri Dingko Singh was a sporting superstar, an outstanding boxer who earned several laurels and also contributed to furthering the popularity of boxing. Saddened by his passing away. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti”, the prime minister tweeted.

Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh also took to Twitter to say that Dingko was one of the most outstanding boxers Manipur has ever produced. “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,” he tweeted.

L. Ibomcha Singh, Dingko’s former coach, said, “Life has never been easy for the late boxer after he was diagnosed with cancer. The illness has taken a heavy toll on his health gradually.”

“It is a great loss not only for Manipur but for the country. Dingko reignited the boxing spirit in the country by winning a gold medal for the country in the Asian Games after a gap of 16 years,” Ibomcha added.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also offered condolences on his demise along with the national federation and a host of Indian boxers, some of whom have only heard tales of Dingko’s dazzling persona.

“I’m deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Dingko Singh. One of the finest boxers India has ever produced, Dinko’s gold medal at 1998 Bangkok Asian Games sparked the Boxing chain reaction in India,” Rijiju tweeted.

Dingko won the gold medal in 1998 at the 13th Asian Games, Bangkok ending India’s 16 years medal drought in the Asian Games. He was also Manipur’s first Asian Games gold medalist.

Dingko started his boxing career under L. Ibomcha Singh in 1990 at the SAI, Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal. The talented boxer’s big break came in 1991 after he won the Sub Juniors National Boxing Championship in Haryana’s Ambala and went on to achieve many milestones. In 1995, he joined the Indian Navy.

For his outstanding contribution, the Manipuri pugilist was bestowed the Arjuna award in 1998 and conferred with Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2013.

Coaches and staff of SAI, Imphal organised a floral tribute in honour of the late boxer at the Khuman Lampak sports complex, Imphal.

Here are some condolence messages from other sports personalities:

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