In a saddening development, former Indian boxer Ngangom Dingko Singh, who won a gold medal in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, passed away on Thursday (10 June), reports India Today.
The bantamweight boxer was battling prolong illness and was diagnosed with liver cancer, for which he was being treated since 2017. Last year the 42-year-old boxer had contracted COVID-19, but recovered.
Notably, Dingko ended India’s 16-year wait for an Asian Games boxing victory in the bantamweight division in Bangkok and was bestowed the Arjuna award in 1998. He was also presented the nation's fourth-highest civilian honour -- the Padma Shri -- in 2013.
"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. I extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved family. RIP Dinko," Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted.
Singh has inspired several boxers including the legendary six-time women’s world champion Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, and Vijender Singh.
Boxer Vijender Singh 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.”
He was also employed with the Indian Navy and worked as a coach before ill-health confined him to his home. Former Indian cricketer and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir had provided financial help while the boxer struggled to raise funds for his treatment.