Asian Games gold medallist former boxer Dingko Singh died on Thursday following a long battle with liver cancer. He was 42 and had been fighting the disease since 2017. Last year, he had tested positive for Covid-19 but the 41-year-old fought through and recovered.
Following boxer’s demise, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Olympic medallist boxer Vijender Singh paid their tributes to the legend.
Kiran Rijju took to social media to pay tribute to Dingko Singh and tweeted that Dinko was one of the finest boxers India has ever produced, his gold medal at 1998 Bangkok Asian Games sparked the boxing chain reaction in India. Extending his condolences to the bereaved family, Rijju said he is deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Dingko Singh.
India’s first Olympic-medallist in boxing Vijender Singh also tweeted that his life’s journey and struggle forever remain a source inspiration for the upcoming generations. Paying tribute to the boxer, he said the bereaved family finds the strength to overcome this period of grief and mourning.
In 1998 Dingko had won the Asian Games gold and was bestowed the Arjuna award in the same year. In 2013, he was honoured with the Padma Shri for his contribution to the sport.
Last year amid Covid lockdown, Dingko travelled 2,400 km from Delhi to Imphal after his chemotherapy could not go ahead as his jaundice had not subsided. On April 26, Dingko had been airlifted to Delhi due to the efforts of Boxing Federation of India as his scheduled radiotherapy at Delhi’s Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) was getting delayed.
However, when he had reached back to Imphal, he tested Covid positive and reports of him recovering emerged on July 3.
A maverick, who inspired the likes of six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, Dingko was employed with the Indian Navy and also worked as a coach before ill-health confined him to his home.