Sabyasachi Bagchi: Overcoming all the odds, “Golden girl” Swapna Barman won gold in the heptathlon event in the ongoing Asian Games held in Jakarta. She made history by triumphing in a difficult event.
In an exclusive interview to www.xtratime.in over a WhatsApp Call Swapna Barman informed that she was preparing to go to the Hospital of the Games Village with her team members. She said, “I have been suffering from severe pain for the past few months, but I have not been able to get my tooth done because I did not wanted to get distracted before the competition, but now I have to do it. If I do not do it now, I can get bigger injuries, so I’m going to the hospital now. ”
Her short career always went through ups and downs. She even thought of giving up playing the game at a time. Then how did she make a royal comeback? In response, the 22-year-old girl said, “I had kept the athletics life alive for this medal in the Asian Games, and there have been multiple surgeries in various parts of the body for the past few years, and many areas of the body were injured and I came here as if it’s the last competition of my career. Now I’m really relieved. ”
This royal girl from Jalpaiguri reached the summit as an athlete in the history of Indian athletics. She achieved a milestone of 6,000 points for the first time in her career. Swapna holds 6026 points in seven events in this year’s event. Swapna is in complete awe with her performance. “Frankly, this result surprised me, I could not sleep before the last night, the thought of my performance before the match as well as the pain in my body and teeth. I even suffered injuries in my ankle, knee and waist, but how did I do it despite of all these I do not even have the answer. ” When Swapna was saying these words before entering the hospital, her self-confidence grew. Really who has performed this well before, just by ignoring the injury?
12 fingers in both legs, which is a rare kind.This physical barrier was taken care of many years ago. So she wears special shoes made by order. In the year 2015 and 2016, things didn’t go well for Swapna. She could not compete for a hamstring injury. She could not even train because of the pain she had in her waist. Doctors suggested surgery. But their advice was simply ignored by coach, Subhash Sarkar and his student. He revealed it via a WhatsApp call, “After the surgery, many players become heavy, and if they are out of the track for a long time, there are many negative thoughts which enter their minds, so I risked her without injecting in the Asian Games. In the last one year she has taken three injections. However, with the belt around her waist Swapna deserves all the praise for creating history.
Swapna has dedicated this win to her coach. “I dedicate this gold medal to sir, hadn’t been for him, then my dream would not have been successful, because he not only cared for me, he has sacrificed a lot. He had to digest a lot.”
In this context, coach Subash Babu, became very emotional when asked about it. He said, “I had given Sapna 90% of the time, while coaching 22 people with her. So many students and their parents complained against me, yet I did not stop because I saw a fire in her.” Then he added, “Though Sapna is still young in age, the financial hardship of her family has given her time before and he knew that if she can perform well in the Asian Games, then central government jobs in police, customs, Central Excise is very much possible. These things have played a big role in winning the gold. ”
Swapna was only thirteen years old. At that time, she was ‘spotted’ from Jalpaiguri district by South-East SAI coach Subhash babu. Initially she would participate in the high jump event. Later, he was brought to heptathlon by her coach.
The Asian Games is done and dusted for Swapna now. So what’s the new goal for Swapna Barman right now ? Is it the Tokyo Olympics ? She straightforwardly said, “It is not possible to put a belt around the waist and get going in the track. I had to go through severe pain, so first thing first I will undergo a surgery, followed by Rehab. So I’m not really thinking about the Olympics right now”.
Swapna will return to Delhi on September 3. There will be a felicitation from the federation. Then he will return to Calcutta on 4th and leave for Jalpaiguri, Ghoshpara.
Eleven months have passed. Swapna is eager to have her mother’s cooked rice !
Althoughs he was not born with the a ‘golden spoon’ in her mouth, but now she is definitely the ‘Golden Girl’. Swapna Barman’s dream is now finally fulfilled.