Born with 12 toes, she could not train in normal footwear. But she was forced to carry on with the same shoes. Lack of funds too hindered her progress. However, former cricketer Rahul Dravid and others funded her training
Jakarta: The story of Swapna Barman is an inspiration for many. She scripted history at the Asian Games 2018 by winning heptathlon gold in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old battled pain to reach the podium at the GBK Stadium. The previous night, she developed pain in her jaw and that almost made her to pull out of the competition. But she was determined to do the nation proud. And she did it. Her effort won millions of hearts.
With a bandaged jaw, the girl from Rajbongshi in Bengal, claimed a memorable gold, completing the final three events – long jump, javelin throw and 800m in pain.
Heptathlon includes seven events in all. The first day, Tuesday, had 100m hurdles, high jump and shot put.
Swapna’s ride to the top has not been a smooth one. The daughter of a rickshaw-puller went through lot of hardships but never gave up, reported The Times of India.
Born with 12 toes, she could not train in normal footwear. But she was forced to carry on with the same shoes. Lack of funds too hindered her progress. However, former cricketer Rahul Dravid and others funded her training.
“I don’t get shoes or spikes that fit my size, I’m wearing shoes made for people with five toes,” Swapna told The Hindu.
“Whenever I wear warm-up shoes it’s very painful, just imagine what sort of pain I must be going through when I wear these jumping spikes and sprinting spikes,” she added.
The girl’s father Panchanan Barman suffered two strokes and is bedridden. Her mother works as a maid and a tea-picker. The family could not afford expenses for her training. After her talent was spotted, scholarships came her way.
She also endured severe back pain during her career. And at once, she thought of quitting the sport. The youngster had also consulted Indian cricket team’s former physio John Gloster, who had helped Sachin Tendulkar and others.
Last Updated 3:09 PM IST