India mourned the death of Ngangom Dinko Singh, the bantamweight boxer who won the Asian Games gold in the 1998 edition in Bangkok. Dingko who was battling ill-health for a number of years now, starting with liver cancer for which he was being treated since 2017, passed away yesterday.
Last year, he had tested positive for COVID-19, adding another one to the health challenges he was already battling. But he fought through and recovered. Condolences poured in from across the nation after the news broke. Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief in an official statement.
“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,” he tweeted.
Others who condoled his passing, aged 42, included President of India Ramnath Kovind, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and a host of celebrities and sportspersons.
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 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."