From Vinesh Phogat’s gold to Dutee Chand’s silver, female athletes have given splendid performance at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. So far, India has won 11 gold medals, 20 silver medals and 23 bronze medals at the Asian Games events. Apparently, athletics has once again become a lucky sport for the country with Indian heptathlete Swapna Barman bagging the 11th gold medal at the Asian Games 2018.
Not surprisingly, Swapna Barman has scripted history at the Asian Games 2018 as she became the first Indian female heptathlete to win a gold medal at the prestigious sports event. While historically, India’s best finish in the heptathlon event came in 2002 and 2006, but this time the lady from Bengal made a new record by scoring 6026 including her personal best throw in Javelin.
But what made her momentous performance even more praiseworthy was the immense pain that she had to overcome in her life to reach this stage of success.
Born in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, 21-year-old Swapna Barman was born with six toes on each foot. While her mother works on a tea-estate, her father used to work as a rickshaw driver, but now he is bed-ridden after facing a stroke in 2013.
Swapna Barman had a tough childhood and with her unusual feet, it was very difficult to afford extra-wide running shoes for her. Evidently, she uses prize money from her sports events to support her family in financial needs.
But she never let her life’s problems be a hurdle in achieving her dreams. Not just in the Asian Games 2018, Swapna also won the elusive gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in 2017. With the troublesome family conditions, she still made her way to the Asiad events making India proud.
While going through the exhausting seven events over three days for the win, Swapna was facing severe perennial problems. Not just her ill-fitting shoes that always caused pain for her while running, she was suffering from a tooth infection after a root canal treatment during the final event of the sport.
Yes! You read that right, Swapna Barman had to stick a Kinesio tape over her right jaw because of the pounding pain in her tooth. Fighting with the pain and swollen face, Swapna marked her niche in the game by winning the gold medal.
After clinching the gold, she addressed the media:
“I have got this gold on the National Sports day, so it’s really special. I use normal shoes worn by people who have normal five toes. It really pains during training. It is very uncomfortable, whether I wear spikes or normal shoes.”
Have a read at some of the tweets applauding her performance:
. @Swapna_Barman96 – Queen of Heptathlon!
Heptathlon, deemed as THE toughest Athletic event, has been conquered by 🇮🇳. Standing ovation 2 Swapna Barman, who, in a majestic display, clinched a🥇. AN ILLUSTRIOUS MOMENT in India’s sports history at #ASIANGAMES! #KheloIndia pic.twitter.com/Ek3IeitaUL
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) August 29, 2018
PM Modi is all-praises
A talented athlete wins a prestigious medal.
Well done @Swapna_Barman96 for winning the Gold in the Heptathlon. This success demonstrates the skills and perseverance you are blessed with. India is extremely proud of you! #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/bjYqFI0dXN
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 29, 2018
Mamta Banerjee approves!
Heartiest congratulations to Swapna Barman, our heptathlon queen from India and Bangla, on winning the gold at the Asian Games. You have made us very proud
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 29, 2018
Another golden moment.
Swapna Barman wins gold in women’s heptathlon.
The wide spectrum of sports in which our champs are winning shows that a culture of sports has finally found roots in India. Much credit to our dynamic sports minister @Ra_THORe for this transformation. pic.twitter.com/USaFCI10tf
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 29, 2018
Well, she has not only made the country proud, her parents are gushing with pride with their daughter’s win. Her mother’s reaction after she won the gold will surely make your day. Watch the video here:
Family members of Swapna Barman celebrate at their residence in Jalpaiguri after she won gold medal in Women’s Heptathlon at #AsianGames. Her mother says,”We’re very happy. Me & Swapna’s dad toiled hard to help her in her journey. Today all our dreams came true.” #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/oXMvTwornT
— ANI (@ANI) August 29, 2018
Well done! You are proud of you! Keep winning medals!