Tajinderpal Singh Toor clinched the men’s shot put gold with a record-shattering throw. He opened India’s medal account in athletics at the 18th Asian Games.
It was not easy to leave behind his father, battling cancer in a Punjab hospital. But Tajinderpal Singh Toor remained strong in pursuit of his passion. And all the sacrifices made, paid off on Saturday with an Asian Games gold medal in shot put.
Not only the 23-year-old from Moga won a gold, it came with a new Games record. He threw the iron ball to 20.75 m in his fifth attempt. It bettered a six-year old mark, set by Om Prakash Karhana (20.69m). Tajinderpal said he did not think of winning gold and his target was to breach the 21m mark. China’s Liu Yang took the silver with a best throw of 19.52 m while Ivan Ivanov of Kazakhstan won the bronze with 19.40 m.
“I had just one aim in mind. I wanted to clear 21 metre and did not think of gold. But I am happy with this. I was trying hard to break the national record for the last 2-3 years and it happened today, that too with a Meet record. ” Tajinderpal said after winning gold.
Tajinderpal said the feat means a lot to him and his family. “This medal is my biggest achievement because a lot of sacrifices have been made. For the last two years, my father (Karam Singh) has been battling with cancer. My family though never let me get distracted. They allowed me to chase my dream. A lot of sacrifices have been made by my family and friends and all those have paid today. My family never pressurized to attend my father in hospital. And it was always my friends who took care of all the hospital formalities in my absence. I have not gone home much in this period since I was training in Dharamsala. ” the burly athlete, who trains with MS Dhillon, said.
“Now I will meet my dad but I will be there for only two days. I have to get ready for the next challenge. My coach M S Dhillon also needs to be credited for the hard work put in by him,” Tajinderpal added.