Daughter of a Rickshaw Puller from West Bengal scripts history in Asian Games

Swapna Barman had two enemies; her poverty and six toes feet but she trampled both down and won a gold medal to become the first Indian heptathlon athlete in Asian Games.

If you have a dream and have courage to fulfull it, no dream can remain a dream. It is bound to get realized. It has been proved by Swapna Barnman, a Heptathalon Athlete from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.

Swapna Barman, a girl from Jalpaiguri, a city of West Bengal, had two enemies – her poverty and her six toes feet and she trampled both down and won the first gold medal as an Indian woman in ongoing Asain Games in Heptathalon.

A daughter of a rickshaw puller, Barman has won the gold medal at the 18th edition of continental meet in Jakarta.

Panchanan Barman, father of the gold medalist has been bedridden for last few years due to her old age. Her mother Basona Barman was too happy to control herself when she watched her daughter win the medal on television.

When Heptathlete #SwapnaBarman’s family was watching their daughter win Gold for India. Watch reaction of her mother, this is priceless!

“I did not watch her perform. I was praying since 2 in the afternoon. This temple is made by her only for me. I believe in Goddess Kali a lot. When I got the news, I could not control my emotions,” Basona told the media..

“It was not easy for her. We could not meet her expectations all the time. She would never complain,” added Basona.
Swapna being a girl from a poor background had to face so many challenges before acquiring the status she avails today after wiining the medal. She had not proper shoes used in this competition and due to her six toes in both feet, normal ready made shoes were not fit. Her extra toes make landing painful and shoes wear out quickly.

“I was her coach from 2006-2013. She comes from a very poor family and could barely meet the expenses of training. I saw a spark in her when she was in the fourth standard. I started training her,” said Sukanta who could not get past the state level himself, his best being a third place finish in triple jump in a inter district meet in Bengal in the 1980s.

“She was extremely stubborn and that worked in her favour. We at Raikot Para Sporting Association club supported her with all the equipment and shoes. Today I cannot express in words how happy I am,” he added.

Swapna had finished fifth with a total of 5,178 points on debut at the Asian Games four years ago in Incheon as a teenager. She sparkled at the Asian Athletics championships last year, where she bagged the gold.

Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee congratulated Barman. “Heartiest congratulations to @Swapna_Barman96 our heptathlon queen from India and Bangla, on winning the gold at the Asian Games. You have made us very proud” she tweeted.

What is Heptathalon?

Heptathlon is a contest comprising seven events – hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 metres, Long Jump, Javeline Throw, 800 metres. It completes in two days. The first day comprises 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m, while day two has long jump, javelin throw and 800m.

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