Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday condoled the demise of Asian Games gold medal-winning former boxer Dingko Singh and said he was was a sporting superstar who contributed to furthering the popularity of boxing. Singh, who inspired a generation of Indian pugilists with his swashbuckling ring craft and flamboyant personality, died on Thursday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 42 and had been fighting the disease since 2017. He is survived by his wife Babai Ngangom, a son and a daughter.

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,” PM Modi tweeted.

On April 26, this year, 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.

Upon examination, the doctors suggested chemotherapy instead but could not be administered due to jaundice. All this while, Dingko was almost quarantined in his at the ILBS.

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, as well as Olympic medallist boxers Vijender Singh and MC Mary Kom paid their tributes to the legend.

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

While Mary Kom called Dingko “a true hero” and said his legacy will live on.

Vijender sent his condolence and said he would forever be an inspiration for the upcoming generations. “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 Folded hands #dinkosingh,” he tweeted.

Manipur’s Chief Minister N Biren Singh expressed his shocked and sadness on his passing and talked of his contribution to boxing in India and Manipur.

In 1998, Dingko received the Arjuna award for his services to Indian boxing, and in 2013, he received the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth highest civilian honour. He was 42 and had been fighting the disease since 2017. He is survived by his wife Babai Ngangom, a son and a daughter.

(With PTI Inputs)

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