India’s Tajinderpal Singh Toor won gold in men’s shot put at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Sunday. Toor won India its second track and field gold in the event.
Toor (2018 Jakarta, 2023 Hangzhou) became the fourth Indian shot putter to defend his Asian Games after Parduman Singh Brar (1954 and 1958), Joginder Singh (1966 and 1970) and Bahadur Singh Chouhan (1978 and 1982).
Toor got started with a monster first throw which landed around the 20m mark, but it deemed a no throw. His second throw was also ruled out. Toor managed his first legal throw in his third attempt, registering 19.51m, by which time Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed Daouda Tolo was leading the field with a best throw of 19.93m.
Toor then threw a massive 20.06 in his fourth attempt to get into gold medal position , but Tolo reclaimed the lead, with a 20.18m throw. While Toor defaulted in his fifth throw, he saved his best throw for last with a massive 20.36m throw in his sixth attempt. Saudi’s Tolo couldn’t overhaul the Indian’s best and had to settle for silver.
The 28-year-old Toor was the favourite to defend the gold medal he won in 2018. He is the lone Indian Asian record holder in individual events. Toor’s only concern is that he has been injury prone in the last few years.
The burly Punjab athlete re-wrote his own Asian record by hurling the iron ball to a distance of 21.77m while winning gold in the National Inter-State Championships in June.
He had suffered a groin injury while winning gold at the Asian Championships in July in Bangkok, where his first round throw of 20.23m was enough to fetch him the top spot. Toor also qualified for the World Championships but had to pull out as he was recovering from the groin injury. Toor had undergone surgery on the left wrist of his throwing arm just after the Tokyo Olympics and said that his ‘wrist is fine.’
“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,” he said.
Shot put is an event dominated for long by the Indians and Toor’s performance continues the tradition as the most successful shot put nation in the Asian Games history.
Indians have won men’s shot put gold nine times in the earlier 18 editions of the Asian Games.
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