Swapna Barman becomes first Indian heptathlete to win Asian Games gold

Daughter of Rickshaw Puller Races for Gold at Asian Games

Swapna Barman, the 21-year-old daughter of a rickshaw-puller and a tea-picker has won India’s first heptathlon gold in the Asian Games

Swapna Barman

Indian athlete Swapna Barman on Wednesday struck a gold medal in women’s Heptathlon Athletics event at the ongoing 18th edition of the Asian Games.

All night, her jaw throbbed with pain. It was so excruciating that Swapna Barman considered pulling out on the final day of the Asian Games heptathlon, where she trailed Wang Qingling of China. The gum infection — too many chocolates, she said — made the task of 32 points seem a mighty ordeal.

The 21-year-old Barman logged 6026 points from the seven events competed for two days. En route to the title, she won the high jump (1003 points) and javelin throw (872 points) events and finished second-best in the shot put (707 points) and long jump (865 points).

Her weakest events were 100m (981 points, 5th position) and 200m in which she finished seventh with 790 points.

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