Ngangom Dingku Singh, the bantamweight boxer who won the Asian Games gold in the 1998 edition in Bangkok, died on Thursday. Dingko was battling ill-health for several years now, starting with liver cancer, for which he was being treated since 2017.
Last year, he had tested positive for Covid-19, adding another one to the health challenges he was already battling. But the 41-year-old fought through and recovered.
Dingko had undergone radiation therapy at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Delhi in January 2020 before returning to Imphal. When his condition worsened in April, Dingko was airlifted to the same hospital before being discharged. He had also contracted jaundice.
He was bestowed with the Arjuna award in 1998 and was presented the nation’s fourth-highest civilian honour — the Padma Shri — in 2013.
Boxer Vijender Singh took to social media to pay tribute to Dingko Singh and tweeted,” My sincerest condolences on this loss May his life’s journey & struggle forever remain a source inspiration for the upcoming generations. I pray that the bereaved family finds the strength to overcome this period of grief & mourning #dinkosingh.”
A maverick, who inspired the likes of six-time world champion M C Mary Kom, Dingko was employed with the Indian Navy and also worked as a coach before ill-health confined him to his home.