Tajinder Paal Singh Toor sent the nation into a spree of joy as he secured a berth at the Tokyo Olympics a couple of days back, as he broke the Asian record in the process, recording a throw of 21.49 m. Toor has been consistent at shot put and one of the mainstays for India in Track and Field events at the international stage. He clinched the gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games at Jakarta as well as the 2019 Asian Championships at Doha. There have been numerous factors which have gone in the making of Toor, a prominent of which is the formidable spirit of his coach Mohinder Singh Dhillon.
Dhillon has been a rock of support for Toor since 2013 when he first trained the athlete in Jalandhar Sports College. He identified that while Toor had a good built, he was low on strength, and started conducting strength training for him. The results were not immediate; but were profound, as Toor surprised him with his developments.
Since then, the coach and his protégé have developed a significant bond, working together closely, and ensuring effective communication through minimal words, even during an in-progress event. While Dhillon has recognized the journey of his disciple, he makes sure that Toor does not get complacent. This was clearly seen during the finals of the Asian Games, when the former encouraged the 26-year old to go for a 21 m throw, even after Toor had virtually secured a gold with a 20.22 m throw. The results were significant; though Toor could not breach the 21 m mark, he created a new Games record, throwing a distance of 20.75 m.The successful association has not only resulted in rich dividends for Toor, but has also led to a considerable amount of recognition for Dhillon, as he bagged the Dronacharya Award, along with the Best Asian Coach of the Year Award at the AAA Gala Awards 2019.
Under the watchful guidance and mentorship of Dhillon, Toor has ensured a consistent display of form, which is not a usual sight for athletes of the same ilk. While Dhillon is all praise for the journey covered by his charge, but at the same time is critical of certain aspects of Toor's game and admits that the 26-year old does not have a perfect technique yet. Amusingly, he still refers to Toor as a 'kid'. The attitude of excellence has flown down to the disciple, too, which was evident in the underwhelming celebrations of Toor post the win at the Asian Games, as he was expecting to send the shot over a distance of 21 m.
Toor has displayed skills that have been heads and shoulders above his opponents at the continental level. An Olympic medal is a distant, yet possible target for the 26-year old athlete, as he continues to excel under the guidance of Dhillon.