Just as he was returning to India after winning the shot put gold medal at the 18 Asian Games, Tajinderpal Singh Toor received the news that his father Karam Singh passed away. He was battling cancer.

“We received Tajinder Toor, our Asian Shot Put Champion Gold Medalist at the airport last night and as he was on his way to hotel, sad news of his father’s demise reached us,” the Athletics Federation of India Twitter handle posted. “May his soul rest in eternal peace. Our heartfelt condolences to Tajinder and his family.”

Not only did the 23-year-old from Moga win a gold, but he had set a new Games record as he threw the iron ball a staggering 20.75 metres in his fifth attempt. It bettered a six-year old mark set by Om Prakash Karhana (20.69 metres).

Tajinder had paid tribute to his family after winning the gold medal, and spoke about his ailing father.

“This medal is my biggest achievement because a lot of sacrifices have been made. For the last two years, my father (Karam Singh) has been battling cancer. My family though never let me get distracted. They allowed me to chase my dream. A lot of sacrifices have been made by my family and friends, and all of it has been repaid,” he had said.

“My family never pressurised to attend my father in hospital and it was always my friends who took care of all the hospital formalities in my absence. I have not gone home much in this period since I was training in Dharamsala,” he said.

With PTI inputs