Tajinderpal Singh Toor brought India their seventh gold medal by winning the men's shot put event with an Asian Games record throw of 20.75m in Jakarta on Saturday. He has also broken the previous national record of 20.69m held by Om Prakash Singh.
Tajinderpal, who had won silver at the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar in 2017 in the same event, started with a throw of 19.96m and claimed the gold ahead of Liu Yang of China (19.52m) and Ivan Ivanov of Kazakhstan (19.40m), both of whom registered their season's best throws. Tajinder is the first Indian to win the men's shot put gold at the Asian Games since Bahadur Singh Sagoo, who had thrown a best of 19.03m to win the gold in Busan in 2002. It's the eighth men's shot put gold for India in Asian Games history.
Triple Jumper Arpinder Singh is doing a Facebook live of Roommate Tejinder Pal Toor's shot put competition. Throw 1 is 19.96m and Arpinder's confidently declared gold for the giant thrower. pic.twitter.com/YJdJIU4c6H
- jonathan selvaraj (@jon_selvaraj) 25 August 2018
Tajinder, 23, was born in Khos Pando village in Punjab and used to play cricket in his early years, before his father encouraged him to try his hand at shot put. After completing his studies in physical education at the Malwa College of Physical Education, Bathinda, Tajinder joined the Indian Navy under the sports quota. The Asian Games medal also helps him put behind the disappointment of the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, where his best of 19.42m was only good enough for eighth place.
"My target was 21m, but I am happy with 20.75m," Tajinder later said. "I had not aimed for gold, just with the aim of 21m. From the first throw of 19.96, I was in the lead. The weather and wind conditions were favourable. For the Olympics, I have to target 21-plus. The fray did not bother me, I had my own preparations. I trained normally.
"The federation has backed me thoroughly. They send me wherever I want to train. I have been trying to break the national record for last two years and it has come here. It's really wonderful."