India continues to shine at the Asian Games.Yet another feather in the country’s cap was added by Swapna Barman, who created history as she became the first Indian heptathlete to win a Gold medal at the Asian Games.
Swapna, who is just 21-years old,bagged 2026 points in total of all the events that she participated in. She got 1003 points in High Jump,872 points in Javelin throw, 707 points in Shot put and 865 points in Long Jump pertaining to her par excellence performance, she led China’s Qingling Wang in the 800 metres run.
What made her victory even special is the fact that Swapna was born with six toes in both her feet.Even though she had this biological issue, she competed in all her competitions wearing normal shoes as there was no provision for special shoes for her from any shoe-manufacturing company.In this regard, she said¬†“You can well imagine the pain I go through when I compete with spiked shoes which are narrow in front.”
Also, just before her competition,Swapna suffered from severe pain in her jaw.Moreover, she was restricted from taking any medication subjecting to anti-doping rules.But she regained her confidence by motivating herself to battle her pains and focus on her competitions.The Jalpaiguri girl’s father is a rickshaw driver and her mother works in a tea estate.
This was the first time in the Indian history that an athlete brought home Gold medal in heptathlon.Prior to her,Soma Biswas won two silver medals,consecutively at Busan and Doha games in 2002 and 2006 respectively,JJ Shobha from Karnataka won bronze medal in 2006 and Pramila Aiyappa won bronze medal in 2010.
Following Swapna,Wang Qingling of China secured second postion with 5954 points and Japan’s Yuki Yamasaki came third with 5873 points.