Toor bagged the gold with a new Asian Games record throw of 20.75m.
As a school boy, Tajinderpal Singh Toor’s first love was cricket but his father coaxed him to take up short put and instilled in him the passion for the game. It was perhaps written in the stars that one day Singh would somehow deliver a master class in one fell swoop and today when gold medal seem to have deserted the Indian contingent in Jakarta, the 23-year-old got India its first gold medal on Saturday.
In what was a bronze day for India, Toor won the first gold medal of the day and seventh overall by winning the men’s shot put event with a record throw at the Asian Games.
Toor hurled the iron ball to a distance of 20.75 metre to smash the previous Games record of 20.57m, previously set by Aboulmajeed Alhabashi of Saudi Arabia at the 2010 Asiad in Guangzhou, China.
China’s Liu Yang was a distant second with his season’s best throw of 19.52m. Ivan Ivanov of Kazakhstan clinched bronze with 19.40m. Toor dominated the final match right from the start but reserved his best for the very last attempt.
After taking an early lead with an effort of 19.96 metre in his first attempt, he threw 19.15m in his second before committing a foul in the third throw. In the fourth round, the tall, sturdy young lad clocked 19.96 metre and subsequently blew away the competition in his last spell.
In the process, Toor, Asia’s number one shot putter, became the first Indian to win the men’s shot put gold at the Asiad since Bahadur Singh Sagoo, who had thrown a best of 19.03m to win gold in the 2002 edition of the Games.
This is only the eighth gold medal for India in men’s shot put in the history of the Asian Games.
Toor had earlier won a silver medal in the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar and at the Asian Indoor Championships in Turkmenistan. However, he gave a disappointing performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games but bounced back to prove his mettle by bagging gold at the 57th national inter-state athletics championships this year.