However, when you talk to him, you realise that he is a king without a house of his own. He adds that he does not have a job or a good support system to pursue his dream, except for contributions from people in his circles.
“We had to sell two shops to sustain my training in the last few years. We have taken loans from several people,” said Inderjeet, who shot into prominence by winning the World University Games silver in Kazan, Russia, last year.
“I was ready to win the Asian Games gold. The conditions were tough. It was a bit cold and was raining also. I did not have a proper warm-up. There was no coach with me. I had to carry two bags and walk for nearly 3km to reach the ground. I had to carry Om Prakash’s bag also, as he had to go back to get something from the room,” said Inderjeet, as he opened his heart in an interaction with The Hindu.
With a throw of 19.63 metres, Inderjeet had won the bronze behind Sultan Abdulmajeed Al Hebshi (19.99) of Saudi Arabia and Ming Huang Chang (19.97) of Chinese Taipei.
“I was looking to throw 20.50,” said Inderjeet, as he recalled that he had touched the 20-metre mark in training, way back in 2010 itself.
“What if Inderjeet had not won the Asian Games medal! We had nothing left,” said Darshan Kaur, Inderjeet’s mother, in a choked voice.
After his father Gurdial Singh’s death in 2007, the mother had done everything for Inderjeet along with her elder son, to keep the talented boy stay committed to athletics. Inderjeet used to train late into the evening in Bhiwani, by switching on the headlights of the vehicles, in the absence of floodlights at the ground.
“We need good grounds with lighting facilities for athletics in Bhiwani, which has produced so many world class sportspersons, including boxer Vijender Kumar. We need a world class gymnasium. We need recovery experts, scientific support, dieticians, good diet and people who understand sports and back sportsmen when they are not doing great,” he said. The World University Games silver did not fetch him any financial reward, despite it being a rare achievement in athletics. In fact, he had to foot the cost himself before it was reimbursed.
With nearly Rs. 1 lakh spent on him every month, Inderjeet says the Union government’s reward for the Asian Games medal would last him only six months. He hopes to land a good job, possibly with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, and get support to realise his Olympic ambition.
For sure, there is a spark in Inderjeet Singh. It needs to be suitably fanned to become a blaze.