Shot-putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor aims to overcome personal setbacks and break records

Bellary: Even though Tajinderpal Singh Toor won the gold medal with a new meet record at the 2nd AFI National Throws competition on Tuesday, the shot-putter from Punjab didn’t celebrate. As he walked out of the competition area, he seemed more exhausted than usual. It has been a tough couple of months for the Asian record holder, who won the event with a throw of 19.95 metres and improved the meet record by a centimetre at JSW’s Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) facilities in Bellary.

Toor underwent one of the most testing times in his life just ahead of the Asian Indoors in Kazakhstan last month. He won the gold in Astana but just before the event his wife Sandeep Kaur, who was expecting, had to undergo an abortion.

“It’s been a tough few months for me and my family. Just before the Asian Indoors, I was busy with my wife’s treatment. We had to rush to the hospital at odd hours and then eventually the doctors had to abort the child,” Toor said with a heavy heart.

During those testing times, Toor said he was thankful he had a close-knit family to back him. “I couldn’t focus at all on my training. It is during such times that you need to have the support of your family and they were there for me. I was obviously shattered at that moment,” Toor, who lives in Patiala with his family, said.

This was Toor’s first outdoor competition of the season after an injury-shortened 2022 season. Toor travelled to Oregon for last year’s World Championships but strained his groin during practice and had to pull out of the meet. The injury also cost him a shot at a Commonwealth Games medal. “I felt the strain during training and knew that even if I made one throw I would have gotten seriously injured and would have had to undergo surgery. So I decided to pull out,” says Toor.

“I am not that satisfied with my performance today. I was targeting the 20m mark but this is just the start of the season. This year I want to rewrite my national and Asian records. I am in a much better shape now,” says Toor.
Eye on jumpers

JSW’s jumps coach Yoandri Betanzos keeps pushing his athletes and is happy only if they meet performance milestones. Two of his wards — triple jumper Praveen Chithravel and long jumper Jeswin Aldrin — returned with silver medals from the recently concluded Asian Indoors but the Cuban wants more from his wards.

“I am expecting two national records tomorrow. Just wait for tomorrow,” Betanzos, who could not travel to Kazhakststan for the Asian Indoors due to Visa-related complications, said.

Results: Shot Put (men’s): 1. Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Haryana) 19.95m (New Meet Record. Old: 19.94, Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Patiala, 2022); 2. Karanveer Singh (Punjab) 19.54; 3. Sahib Singh (Delhi) 18.77.

(The write was in Bellary on the invitation of IIS)

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