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Asian Games 2018

Indian heptathlete wins Asian Games gold then pleas for shoes

Indian heptathlete wins Asian Games gold then pleas for shoes

DARREN WHITESIDE

REUTERS

Swapna Barman, who was born with six toes on each foot, issued a plea to provide her customized shoes.

Swapna Barman became on Wednesday the first Indian heptathlete to win an Asian Games gold medal.

The 21-year-old logged 6026 points from seven events competed for two days. She won the high jump (1003 points) and javelin throw (872 points) events and finished runner-up in shot put (707 points) and long jump (865 points).

Along with a 5th position in the 100m event, a seventh in the 200m and a fourth in the 800m, Barman secured the gold medal.

China’s Qingling Wang took home the silver with 5954 points and Japan’s Yuki Yamasaki the bronze with 5873.

Currently India has 54 Asian Games medals: 11 gold, 20 silver and 23 bronze.

Plea for customized shoes

Born with six toes on each foot, the Indian athlete said every step of the race had been painful as she strapped through the pain barrier in her ill-fitting footwear.

'Normal shoes don't work for me. There is lot of pain when I wear any shoe, spikes or anything,' she said after securing the top of the podium on Wednesday.

'I hope they make special shoes for me because I have a lot of pain. Even warm-up shoes hurt, so forget about spikes.'

However, at the heptathlon event her feet were not her only concern, as she raced with an acute toothache.

'I used to eat a lot of chocolates so have a lot of pain in one of my teeth before the start of the competition,' she told reporters.

'First day I thought I will not be able to do it because there was so much pain. But I had to do it because of all these days of hard work.'

Barman shot to fame last year after achieving gold at the Asian Championships in India.

However, a string of ankle and back injuries kept her out for almost a year. She still managed to return in time to finish second in India’s Asian Games qualifiers.

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