New Delhi, June 10: Legendary Indian bantamweight boxer Ngangom Dingko Singh, who won a gold medal in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, passed away at the age of 42, after a long battle with liver cancer. He is survived by his wife and two children.
He was 42 and had been fighting the disease since 2017. He contracted Covid-19 in May 2020 but had recovered from the ailment. He made his debut in the arena of International Boxing in 1997 and won the King's Cup 1997 held in Bangkok, Thailand. He was also declared the best boxer of the meet.
Dingko then represented India at the 1998 Asian Games, where he clinched a gold medal in the 54Kg bantamweight category in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games and ended India’s 16-year wait for an Asian Games boxing victory in the bantamweight division.
The Manipur-based boxer was bestowed the Arjuna Award in 1998 and was presented the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award.
He was also the man behind the starting boxing revolution in Manipur. Dingko not only clinched medals for India, but also Singh has also inspired several boxers including, the legendary six-time women’s world champion Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, and Vijender Singh. He was also employed with the Indian Navy and worked as a coach before ill-health confined him to his home.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay tribute to Dingko Singh. "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," PM Modi tweeted.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju offered his condolences and prayers to the family.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, "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."