For the first time in the history of the Asian Games, Tajinderpal Singh Toor not only won the gold but also broke the shot put record when his iron ball landed at 20.75m, breaking the previous record of 20.57 m in 2010 Asian Games.
On day seven of the Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tajinderpal added the seventh gold to the total medal tally for India. At present India is at the eighth position with 29 medals in total.
Tajinderpal took the lead from the start till the end. In the fifth attempt, he broke the game record. With this feat, he broke the previous national record of Om Prakash Karhana in 2012
Tajinderpal, a 23-year-old shot putter hails from Punjab. He made the start by throwing the iron ball weighing 7.6 kg at 19.96m. In his second attempt, he could only go for 19.15m, which was prior to his fourth throw attempt which scaled as far as 19.96m, says Hindustan Times.
For someone like Taj, this win came at the cost of leaving behind his ailing father at home. His father has been fighting cancer for the last two years. Speaking about his father and the support he received, he told The Hindu,
My father, Karam Singh, has been suffering from cancer for the last two years. But I get plenty of support from him, even when he is hospitalised. His life has always been full of sacrifices but he always tells me to focus only on sport, this is the result of that. This gold means a lot to me and our family. I dedicate it to my dad.
Tajinder is commissioned in the Indian Navy because of which he has access to the empanelled and central government-run hospitals, which reduces a huge financial expense, he adds.
Hailing from a farming background, choosing a sport like shotput was not an easy choice for Tajinder. A pair of shoes, which only lasts for two months, costs him ₹10,000. Additional expenses include the cost of trainers and venues, adds Navbharat Times.