Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Asian Games Champion boxer Ngangom Dingko Singh is no more.
The 42-year old who ended India’s 16 years wait for Asian Games gold in bantamweight category in 1998 at Bangkok, passed away on Thursday at his Sekta Mayai Leikai residence in Imphal after prolonged illness. A Padma Shree awardee,
Hailing from a remote village, Sekta situated in Imphal East district, Dingko Singh made international debut in 1997 and later went on to inspire Indian boxing generations with his notable performances including gold medal at the Asiad and he also represented the country at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
He was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1998 and conferred with Padma Shri in 2013. During his Asian Games triumph, he outperformed some of the top boxers including then World No. 3 Thailand’s Wong Sontaya in the semis followed by one Timur Tulyakov in the final en route to gold.
In his condolence message Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the late boxer a “sporting superstar”
“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.” the Prime Minister tweeted.
Sports minister Kiren Rijiju called Dingko Singh “one of the finest boxers India has ever produced”
” I am deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Dingko Singh.One of the finest boxer India has ever produced. Dngko’s gold medal at the 1998 Bangkok Asiad sparked the Boxing chain reaction in India. I extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved family. RIP Dinko’
Ace woman pugilist Mary Kom tweeted : You were a true hero of our nation. You leave but your legacy will among us RIP Dingko Singh”
Boxer Vikas Krishan tweeted ” We lost legend. Dingko Singh Rest in Peace’
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) mourned the demise of Dingko Singh, who was an inspiration to many Indian boxers including Mary Kom and Sarita Devi. “Dingko Singh passing away is an irreplaceable loss for Indian Boxing. He was an inspiration to a generation of boxers and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations. In this hour of grief and loss, the Boxing family stands in solidarity with his wife and family and pray for the departed soul,” BFI President Ajay Singh said.
Olympic medalist Vijender Singh in his tweet said “May Dingko’s life journey and struggle forever remain a source of inspiration for the coming generations”.
“RIP Dingko Singh .You will always be remembered for the glory you brought our country in the ring.” tweeted Bollywood director Farhan Akhtar.