Competing More Important Than Pain: Heptathlon Gold Winner Swapna

Swapna Barman fought severe pain to win India’s first Heptathlon gold at this year’s Asian Games.

Updated
Olympic Sports
1 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Camera: Abhishek Ranjan

Swapna Barman fought severe pain to win India’s first Heptathlon gold at this year’s Asian Games. With a taped chin and cheek, the 21-year-old athlete powered through her two-day event comprising seven games, with a severe toothache.

“I was only thinking about doing well. The pain comes and goes. There hasn’t even been one day when I haven’t been in pain. Pain can be parked aside, but I will compete no matter what,” said Swapna.

Swapna won the high jump (1003 points) and javelin throw (872 points) events and finished second-best in shot put (707 points) and long jump (865 points). She finished with a total of 6,026 points from the seven events.

Asked who she first thought of after winning, an emotional Swapna said, “My parents”.

They’re very happy and emotional about this medal. I’m going to go home straight and hug my parents. I haven’t seen them in a year.
Swapna Barman

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

Going into the 800m run, the last of the seven-event competition, Barman was leading China's Qingling Wang by 64 points. She needed a good run in the concluding event, in which she eventually finished fourth.

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