Highlights Tejinder Singh
- Coming from a humble family of farmers in Punjab, Tejinder Singh wanted to become a cricketer as a child. However, destiny had other plans. On his father’s insistence, he took up shot put.
- It turned out to be the best decision of his life. The youngster found a lot of success in the game.
- With medals in the Federation Cup, Interstate Competitions, and Open Nationals, he became the Asian number one in shot put.
- Then came his golden chance to prove his mettle to the entire world. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get a podium finish at the Commonwealth Games.
- Now, he is all set to redeem the lost opportunity at the Asian Games 2018. The 22-year-old is sure of a podium finish.
The Asian Games have begun with a bang! India has already won two gold medals, and the number is just going to go higher and higher. Many known and unknown faces have worked hard for months to bring laurels for the country. There will be some surprises, hopefully, no shocks. The multi-sport event is hosted by Indonesia in the twin cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
Most of us are aware of big names like PV Sindhu or Sushil Kumar. There are some lesser known stars that equally deserve the spotlight. Knowing their journeys, achievements, and struggles will help us cheer them on with much gusto.
Today, we are taking a sneak peek into the life of Indian and Asian shot put number one – Tejinder Pal Singh.
Date of Birth: 13 November 1994
Place of Birth: Moga, Punjab
Sport: Shot Put
Current Ranking: Asian Number 1
Coach: Bahadur Singh
Toor Tejinder Singh – Family Background
Tejinder comes from a family of farmers. Born and brought up in a humble family in Moga, Punjab shot put was never really the plan for the youngster. As a child, Toor wanted to be a cricketer like most Indian boys.
His father encouraged him to try some individual sports instead. Since his uncle was already playing shot put, Toor decided to follow in his footsteps. The decision was fairly easy, but taking playing a sport professionally became a herculean task for the family with meager means.
Toor first came into limelight when he won a silver medal at the Asian Championships in 2017.
He won the gold at the 57th National inter-State athletics championships in 2018. However, his 19.46 m was not enough to help him qualify for the World Championships in London. The qualifying mark was 20.50 m. So even though he won, he was disappointed. The World Championships would have given him a wider platform.
The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games were the next big opportunity for him. He qualified for the games with an impressive score of 20.24m. And for the finals of the shot put event at the CWG. He was ranked sixth in the qualifiers. In his first two attempts, he managed throws of 18.49m and 18.43m. The last attempt was better with a throw of 19.10m.
The tournament ended on a very disappointing note as Tejinder Singh stood at the eight position in the finals. Coming on a high after the silver at the Asian Indoor Championships, CWG was a big downer.
Training and Challenges
It was very difficult for his humble family to bear the additional expenses. His training, diet, and equipment weren’t cheap.
“The thing about shot put is, as you go up the levels, your expenses also gradually rise,” said Tejinder Singh. “You need better food supplements, you need to go to a better gym, need better shoes,” he told Sportskeeda.
The main requirements for any athlete are good shoes. His shoes used to hardly last for a couple of months. Including the supplements, his monthly expenses go up to 50,000.
Tajinder believes that adequate amount of financial support by the government will help budding athletes to concentrate on their sport instead of worrying about other things.
Fight with Destiny
Tajinder has no problem fighting it out with opponents in the field, but there is one fight that he cannot win. His father was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2015. Fortunately, it was in the initial stages and was cured by a surgery.
The tragedy shook the entire family again next year as now his father had a fourth-stage bone cancer. This time the stakes were not in his favor.
The Indian Navy played a crucial role by offering him a job. They are also helping with all the medical expenses related to the treatment.
“At this stage, I know that my father is not going to live for too long. All I want to do right now is to win as many medals as I can, while he is still alive. I want to give him all the medals,” he said in an interview.
Tejinder Singh – Asian Games Preparation
Several athletes are training abroad for the Asian Games. However, Toor prefers the high altitude in Dharamshala. He is training very hard for the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games. Of course, he knows it won’t be easy. After the disappointment at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the performance here will be crucial to changes things.
“This will be my first appearance at the Asian Games. But I am totally confident. There is no pressure or nervousness. I am confident of doing well. I am among the best in Asia and it will not be easy to beat me,” Toor told Business Standard.
Yes, there will be challenges, but we are sure the Asian number one will crush them and win the top laurels. His contest with the Chinese and Iranian shot putters will be very crucial. Toor is inspired, dedicated, and talented. Although life hasn’t been easy for the champion in the making, he has time and again proven how tough he is. He will definitely stand on the podium at the Asiads. And when he does, we cannot wait to cheer him on!
List of Achievements
- World University Games – 5th (19.24m)
- Open national – 3rd (17.78m)
- Federation Cup – Gold (19.93m)
- Interstate – Silver (19.21m)
- Open National – Bronze (18.36m)
- Federation Cup – Gold (20.40m)
- Interstate – Gold (19.46m)
- Open India – Gold (18.86m)
- Asian Championship – Silver (19.77m)
- Indoor Asian Athletics Championship – Silver (19.24m)
Shot Put Ranking
- India: Number 1
- Asia: Number 1
- World: Number 49
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