The lone individual event Asian record holder in athletics, Tajinderpal Singh Toor says he is nearing full fitness after sustaining a groin injury and hoping to defend his Asian Games shot put gold in Hangzhou.
The 28-year-old from Punjab had won gold in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta with a throw of 20.75m. Since then, he has improved his performance and currently holds the Asian record with his 21.77m throw while winning gold at the National Inter-State Championships in June in Bhubaneswar.
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.
“I am ready for the Asian Games and I am confident that I will defend the gold I won in 2018 Games. I am 95 per cent fit,” Toor said when asked about his injury.
“I am currently training at NIS Patiala and will be 100 per cent by the time Asian Games starts,” he added.
The Hangzhou Asian Games begin on September 23, with the shot put event scheduled to be held on October 1.
Apart from Toor, the men’s 4x400m relay team also holds the Asian record with the Indian quartet’s 2:59.05s effort at the World Championships in Budapest last month.
Toor also qualified for the World Championships but had to pull out as he was recovering from the groin injury.
“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.
“So, I shifted my focus to Asian Games and I hope to win gold again.” In an event dominated for long by the Indians, Toor is hoping to continue the tradition as the most successful shot put nation in the Asian Games history.
“It all depends on the day, if I do my best I should win another gold, that I am sure,” said a confident Toor who has won two Asian Championships gold (2019 and 2023) and one silver (2017).
Indians have won men’s shot put gold nine times in the earlier 18 editions of the Asian Games.
If Toor defends his gold in Hangzhou, he will become the fourth Indian shot putter to do so after Parduman Singh Brar (1954 and 1958), Joginder Singh (1966 and 1970) and Bahadur Singh Chouhan (1978 and 1982).
Toor’s nearest rival could be Abdelrahman Mahmoud of Bahrain, who threw a best of 20.65m this season.
“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,” said Toor who will be featuring in his second Asian Games.
Toor had undergone surgery on the left wrist of his throwing arm just after the Tokyo Olympics and said that his ‘wrist is fine.’
- NZ vs SL: Rachin Ravindra breaks record for most runs in maiden World Cup edition
- New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Live Score, World Cup 2023: NZ 63/0 (8); Conway, Ravindra off to flying start in 172 chase
- PCB accepts chief selector Inzamam’s resignation as rift grows
- NZ vs SL: Rachin Ravindra breaks Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most runs in single edition of ODI World Cup before age 25
- AIFF Executive Committee renames Senior Nationals as FIFA Santosh Trophy, Infantino expected to attend final