Tajinderpal Singh Toor, the Indian shot put champion, says he has not had a single pain-free throw in the last five years. It was a routine day at practice in October last year when he lost his balance after a throw and landed on his left wrist. He suffered a fracture on his throwing hand that kept him away from the shot put arena for three months.
In addition to this, an overgrowth in his wrist bone has left him with frequent swellings, but the 26-year-old says he wraps it up with a crepe bandage and carries on. “Players are always in some sort of physical pain. I got multiple MRI and CT scans to get my wrist checked and the only solution is a minor operation. But I’ve grown used to the pain and I’m pulling along now,” he tells Sportstar .
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“The swelling and pain keep coming and going – woh bhi besharam hai aur mai usse bada besharam hun, ” he adds, laughing.
Tajinderpal punched his ticket to the Tokyo Olympics when he launched the 7.26kg metal ball over a distance of 21.49m at the Indian Grand Prix 4 in Patiala in June. It was a new Asian record, and more importantly, confirmed his ticket at sport’s greatest theatre – the Olympics.
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“It feels great to have set a new Asian record. I used to regularly throw over 22m last year, before my injury, and I hope to rediscover that form. I’m looking to register a new personal best at the Olympics,” he adds.
The fracture was a massive setback, it confined his left arm to a cast for six weeks and he could not throw for three months. But he continued to train and strapped his fractured arm to the barbell with a cloth to perform heavy workouts such as bench press and shoulder press.
“I could barely train, but I did not want to give up. My coach kept telling me that if we stop training then the Olympic dream will be over. His way of looking at it was that even if I trained a little, I would be in a better position when I returned to competition,” he says.
When away from training, Toor prefers to relax by watching TV shows. His latest favourite is the Spanish crime-thriller Money Heist .
Having kept an eye on his sugar consumption over the last few months, Tajinderpal already has a set of sweets he wants to enjoy once he’s back from the Olympics. “Gulab Jamun is my absolute favourite - ek dabba pakka kha jaun (I will easily polish off a box). I really like Rasamalai too. Oh, and I want to eat homemade parathas with butter. I’ll eat just that for at least 4-5 days when I go back,” he says.
Tajinder will be in action in the men’s shot put qualification at 3:45 pm on Tuesday.