Former boxer Dingko Singh, who gained gold on the Asian Games in 1998, died aged 42 on Thursday after a chronic battle with liver cancer.
Dingko, who had been preventing the illness since 2017, is survived by his spouse Babai Ngangom, a son and a daughter. Throughout his battle with cancer, Dingko’s well being woes had been compounded by a bout of jaundice and COVID-19 final 12 months.
The previous bantamweight (54kg) boxer impressed a era of Indian boxers together with his swashbuckling ring craft and flamboyant character. The Manipuri famous person, who gained his maiden nationwide title (sub-junior) as a 10-year-old, was among the many first trendy stars of Indian boxing together with his Asian Games gold and impressed the likes of six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, amongst others.
“He was a rockstar, a legend, a rage. I bear in mind I used to queue as much as watch him battle in Manipur. He impressed me. He was my hero. It’s a enormous loss. He has gone too quickly,” Mary Kom instructed PTI, recalling the long-lasting boxer who pale from the scene after cancer took its toll on his physique.
“Life is so unpredictable,” she stated.
“We misplaced a legend,” Olympic-bound boxer Vikas Krishan stated, summing up what Dingko means to Indian boxing.
“I am deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Dingko Singh,” Sports activities Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted.
I am deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Dingko Singh. One of the best boxers India has ever produced, Dinko’s gold medal at 1998 Bangkok Asian Games sparked the Boxing chain response in India. I prolong my honest condolences to the bereaved household. RIP Dinko�� pic.twitter.com/MCcuMbZOHM
– Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) June 10, 2021
A fearless competitor within the ring, Dingko beat two Olympic medallists — Sontaya Wongprates of Thailand and Timur Tulyakov of Uzbekistan — en path to the Asian Games gold medal in Bangkok, which was a exceptional feat for an Indian boxer at the moment.
Mockingly, he wasn’t the unique decide for the Games and made the minimize after registering his protest.
Vijender Singh, India’s first Olympic medallist in boxing, tweeted:
My sincerest condolences on this loss Might his life’s journey & wrestle without end stay a supply inspiration for the upcoming generations. I pray that the bereaved household finds the power to beat this era of grief & mourning ���� #dinkosingh
– Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) June 10, 2021
Following his 1998 Asiad gold, Dingko gained the Arjuna award in the identical 12 months. In 2013, he was honoured with the Padma Shri for his contribution to the game.
An worker of the Indian Navy, Dingko had taken to teaching at Imphal’s Sports activities Authority of India (SAI) Centre after hanging up his gloves however sicknesses got here in the way in which of his progress and he was largely confined to his dwelling within the later phases of his life.
He was airlifted to Delhi final 12 months after it got here to gentle that the COVID-19 lockdown had prevented him from getting essential radiation remedy for his cancer.
Upon touchdown in Delhi, a bout of jaundice prevented him from getting the remedy. He went again to Imphal in an ambulance and contracted COVID-19 on reaching again dwelling. He spent a month in hospital recovering from the an infection.
“It was not simple however I instructed myself, ‘ladna hai toh ladna hai (If I’ve to battle, I am going to battle)’. I used to be not ready to surrender, nobody ought to,” he had stated in his final interplay with PTI after recovering.