Tajinderpal Singh Toor, who is the only individual event Asian record holder in athletics, is on the road to recovery after a problematic groin injury. Consequently, he is confident to defend his shot put gold at the forthcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou.
The 28-year-old athlete hailing from Punjab created a substantial impact in 2018 when he nailed the gold in the shot put at the Asian Games in Jakarta with an outstanding throw of 20.75 meters.
Yet, Tajinderpal Singh Toor's expedition didn't stop there. He persisted in stretching his limitations and created a new Asian record at 21.77 meters during his gold-winning performance at the National Inter-State Championships in Bhubaneswar this June.
Despite his outstanding achievements, a groin injury in July during the Asian Championships in Bangkok somehow derailed his swiftness. However, Toor remains courageous.
"I am ready for the Asian Games, and I am confident that I will defend the gold I won in the 2018 Games. I am 95 per cent fit," he declared when questioned about his injury situation.
Nowadays, Toor is diligently preparing at the NIS Patiala, with his eyes set on attaining complete fitness before the Asian Games begin on September 23. The shot put contest is planned for October 1.
In addition to Toor's remarkable achievements, India's men's 4x400m relay team holds the Asian record following their impressive 2:59.05s performance at the World Championships in Budapest last month.
While Toor had earlier qualified for the World Championships, the groin injury compelled him to recuse himself from the tournament. Reflecting on the missed opportunity, he stated,
"I was preparing to do my best in the World Championships, but this groin injury happened. I was disappointed, but you cannot do anything about injury. So, I shifted my focus to the Asian Games, and I hope to win gold again."
Tajinderpal Singh Toor keen to carry on his performances
India has a rich history of dominance in the shot put event at the Asian Games. Naturally, Toor is also enthusiastic about extending this legacy.
"It all depends on the day; if I do my best, I should win another gold, that I am sure," he confidently remarked.
Toor has already picked up two Asian Championships golds (in 2019 and 2023) and one silver (in 2017).
Throughout the history of the Asian Games, Indian shot putters have prevailed on nine occasions in the men's shot put event. If Toor safeguards his gold in Hangzhou, he will enter the esteemed ranks of Parduman Singh Brar (1954 and 1958), Joginder Singh (1966 and 1970), and Bahadur Singh Chouhan (1978 and 1982) as the fourth Indian shot putter to attain this amazing accomplishment.
While Tajinderpal Singh Toor accepts the threat of potential foes like Abdelrahman Mahmoud of Bahrain, who brags a best throw of 20.65 meters this season, he remains firm in his approach, stating:
"I am not concerned about my opponents. I focus on my performance only. The gold in the Asian Championships has given me the confidence that I can win gold in the Asian Games also."
Tajinderpal Singh Toor, who will be partaking in his second Asian Games, also confirmed that his earlier injured wrist is now in a satisfactory state.