Former Asian Games gold medalist Boxer Dingko Singh passes away at 42

Singh, who was suffering from liver cancer and had to sell off his house to manage treatment, passed away this morning after a long battle with the disease.

Former Asian Games gold medalist Boxer Dingko Singh passes away at 42
Dingko Singh had been through radiation therapy at a Delhi hospital in January 2020 before returning to his residence in Imphal. (Photo credit: Twitter @sarbanandsonwal)

Asian Games gold medal-winning former boxer Dingko Singh (42) passed away on Thursday after a long battle with liver cancer. He had been fighting the disease for the last four years.

“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 the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games sparked the Boxing chain reaction in India. I extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved family. RIP Dinko,” Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted.

He had been through radiation therapy at a Delhi hospital in January 2020 before returning to his residence in Imphal. Dingko Singh had to sell off his house to raise money for his treatment in the national capital. Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir then stepped forward and helped him financially.

Dingko was airlifted to the same hospital three months later when his condition worsened but was discharged. Ajay Singh, Boxing Federation of India president, offered help. Flying during a nationwide lockdown with airlines closed took several huge steps. It required letters from doctors at the Delhi hospital as to why the treatment was needed.

It required both him and his wife Ngangom Babai Devi to take Covid-19 tests. In his time of need, several boxers Dingko Singh inspired came together to help him. Vijender Singh and Commonwealth Games medalist Manoj Kumar had also raised funds for his treatment. He had contracted jaundice later. The Manipur-based former boxer was also affected with COVID-19 in May last year.

“My sincerest condolences on this loss May his life’s journey & struggle forever remain a source of inspiration for the upcoming generations. I pray that the bereaved family finds the strength to overcome this period of grief & mourning #dinkosingh,” tweeted India’s first Olympic-medallist in boxing Vijender Singh.

Dingko won the Asian Games gold in 1998 and was bestowed the Arjuna award the same year. In 2013, he was honoured with the Padma Shri for his contribution to the sport.

He had taken to coaching after hanging up his gloves. Dingko Singh was considered to be one of the best boxers that India produced.

In 2018, it was announced that his life will be portrayed on the big screen and Shahid Kapoor will essay his character.

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