Lockdown diaries: Tejinder Pal Singh Toor training in Patiala

This lockdown is for our good only, if there is any infection inside it would be more dangerous, says star shot-putter Tejinder Pal Singh.

Tejinder Pal Singh Toor in action in the men’s shot put at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, in October 2019.   -  AP


Due to the government-mandated lockdown of sports centres owing to the Coronavirus threat, national campers across sports have been in a state of flux. At the NIS, Patiala, while those inside insist their lives haven’t really changed in terms of daily schedules, the uncertainty is definitely a concern.

Shot-putter Tejinder Pal Singh Toor is among those who admit the clampdown was necessary.

What is the situation right now at the NIS?

Since the national camp and the NIS campus have been sealed right now, we cannot move anywhere. There is a total lockdown of the premises, all competitions have been cancelled. I am talking to you after my training session; I was supposed to be throwing at the Indian GP. But we have been told that all competitions have been pushed back to at least after May 15 for now.

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It’s not like we feel tied down; we are used to being in camps for long periods and our schedule doesn’t allow much socialising anyway. But this lockdown is for our good only, if there is any infection inside it would be more dangerous. I think this is one of the very few centres in operation even in lockdown, otherwise across the world most training centres have been shut. Those athletes cannot even train anywhere.

Can you explain how things panned out since the virus news first broke?

Honestly speaking, it didn’t look like it would become so serious so quickly. Yes there were concerns when it first broke but till it reached India, there was no idea it would be such a situation. But now like we are seeing and the way it spread so fast in a country like Italy with a low population and better medical facilities — hamari to population hi bahut zyada hai in comparison (our population is so much more).

Other training venues and grounds are also shut, at least in Punjab I know, and athletes are struggling to do something with their time...

Read the full interview when the latest issue of Sportstar magazine is available on April 8.

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