Dingko Singh, the former Indian boxer and Asian Games gold medalist, died on Thursday after a protracted illness at 42. The Manipuri won a gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok and is widely regarded as one of India’s best boxers.
Dingko’s life path and struggle, according to India’s professional boxing legend Vijender Singh, would always be a source of inspiration for future generations. He 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”.
Dingko was born in 1979 to a poor family in a rural area called Sekta in Manipur’s Imphal district. Being raised in an orphanage, he had to overcome adversity from the beginning of his childhood. He worked hard to become a member of the Indian Navy’s service.
His hidden capabilities were discovered by trainers in a Special Area Games Scheme organised by the Sports Authority of India. Major O.P. Bhatia, who later became the Executive Director of the Sports Authority of India’s Teams Wing, was his coach. His talent, hard work, and training paid off when he won the Sub Junior National Boxing Championship at the age of ten in Ambala, India, in 1989. Dingko’s success drew the attention of selectors and trainers, who began to regard him as a prospective Indian boxing star.
In 1997, he made his international boxing debut and won the King’s Cup, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand. Dingko Singh was named the best boxer of the meet in addition to winning the championship.
His demise has saddened countless Indian sportspersons, politicians, and celebrities. Several big names have expressed their grief through twitter, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He tweeted, “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”.