Daughter of Rickshaw Puller Who is first Indian heptathlon to win Asian Games gold: Swapna Barman

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Swapna Barman became the first Indian female heptathlete to win a gold in the Asiad event. She overcame an immense amount of pain to script the record in Jakarta.
Swapna Barman became the first Indian female heptathlete to win a gold in the Asiad event. She overcame an immense amount of pain to script the record in Jakarta.

Asian Games 2018: Swapna Barman became the first Indian female heptathlete to win a gold in the Asiad event. She overcame an immense amount of pain to script the record in Jakarta.

Heptathlon gold medal winner Swapna Barman’s story is arguably the most inspiring tale among medal winners. Not born with a silver spoon, she had to fight odds to finally clinch Asian Games glory. Her tale actually makes one believe that dreams do come true if it is teamed with hard work and self-belief.

One of the most exhausting events in the Asian Games, heptathlon is an event where there are eight different disciplines and you are expected to fare well in all the events to accumulate the highest score on an average to win. She was consistent throughout all discipline, despite battling a severe jaw pain.

She finished with her personal best score of 6026 which included her personal best throw in Javelin. India’s previous best performance at the event was the second-place finish way back in 2002 and 2006 by Soma Dutta.

Here are five things to know about India’s new superwoman in athletics…

1) 21-year-old Swapna Barman who hails from Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal, has six toes in both her feet making it difficult for her to find the right kind of shoe. In fact, six toes on each foot increase the width of her feet and ergo make her jumping event difficult.

2) Swapna’s father is a rickshaw puller and has been bedridden for the last couple of years and had to make ends meet to make realise her second Asian Games appearance.

3) She had amassed 5178 points in her debut Asiad appearance in Incheon four summer back, and last year, she had bagged the elusive gold at the  Asian Athletics Championships.

4) All through her seven events, Swapna was suffering from an immense toothache for which she had even put a medical bandage on her jaw.

5) “By winning this gold medal, I have achieved my dreams and fulfilled my coach’s hopes. I was injured but I practised a lot to fulfil the hopes of my loved ones,” said Swapna after her win.

 

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