Asian Games 2018: How family support helped Tajinderpal Singh bag gold medal
Tajinderpal Singh Toor extended India’s impressive record in shot put at Asian Games, winning their ninth gold medal in the discipline at the continental event.
The win set off celebrations in his hometown of Moga where his family had stood by him as his father fought cancer.
Mother Pritpal Kaur, 50, said she was overwhelmed with his son’s achievement and the house was flooded with well-wishers. “He had a dream that he wanted to make his father proud by winning gold at the Asian Games,” she said.
“We all are proud of his achievement as he had to struggle a lot in his career. He had to take care of the family along with his regular training. We always told him that his father was keeping well just to keep him away from pressure. He wanted to visit the village but I told him to concentrate on his training and return with a medal. He has kept his promise.”
The family watched Tajinderpal’s event live on television. His younger sister is settled in USA.
Hailing from Khosa Pandu village, Moga district, in Punjab, Tajinderpal was encouraged by his uncle to take up throwing events.
Major Singh, the village sarpanch, said everyone at home was proud of the champion. “It will encourage youngsters of the village to take up sports,” he added.
In 2013, his father was diagnosed with the ailment and underwent surgery. The family had to spend R10 lakh. Unfortunately two years later, his health worsened. While it was skin cancer earlier, now he is also suffering from brain cancer.
The last three months have been emotionally draining for the Asian Games champion. He had to attend to his ailing father who was admitted to Army Hospitals in both Panchkula and Delhi, and had to focus on his training at the same time.
After finishing eighth at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, he was desperate to win for his family. “Sometimes it gets tough as I can’t get proper sleep and feel low during training,” he had said.
That his training suffered was evident from his performance at the Guwahati Inter State Athletics Championships held in June, when he fell short of Asian Games qualifying mark of 19.50m. Eventually, he overcame family problems to rise to the occasion.
Indian throwers have won gold medal in shot put for a record nine times at the Asian Games. They had also broken Games record six times in the past.
The two best throwers have been Joginder Singh and the late Parduman Singh Brar. Joginder claimed back-to-back gold medals in the 1966 and 1970 editions with record throws. Parduman Singh Brar was in fact considered the pioneer. He too won back-to-back gold medals in 1954 and 1958 editions with a Games record.
India had in fact stamped their authority in the discipline during the inaugural edition of the Games held in New Delhi in 1951 with Madan Lal winning gold through a throw of 13.78m.