History-makers Swapna Barman, Arpinder extend India’s golden run

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Aug 2018 08:24:23

(L) India’s Swapna Barman celebrates after competing in the women’s 800m heptathlon athletics event. (C) Gold medal winner Arpinder Singh at the medal ceremony of men’s triple jump event. (R) Dutee Chand competes in the women’s 200m final during the athletics competition at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday



Swapna braves toothache to win heptathalon gold

Arpinder becomes first Indian triple jumper in 48 years to fetch a yellow metal

Sprinter Dutee Chand clinches her second silver

HEPTATHLETE Swapna Barman added a dash of heroism to her historic gold medal, triple jumper Arpinder Singh personified the predictability that comes with a favourite tag, while sprinter Dutee Chand continued to rediscover herself as track-and-field remained India’s happy hunting ground at the 18th Asian Games.

As a result of these path-breaking performances, the country remained on course to better its previous edition’s haul and tallied 54 medals -- 11 gold, 20 silver and 23 bronze.Competing with a plastered face owing to a teeth injury, described as a case of infection, the battle-hardened Swapna topped the overall standings to garb her maiden Asiad gold.

The daughter of a rickshaw puller who has been bed-ridden by stroke since 2013, Swapna logged 6026 points from the seven events competed over two days. She 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).

Her weakest events were 100m (981 points, 5th position) and 200m in which she finished seventh with 790 points.
But the tremendous overall effort was enough to make her the first Indian heptathlete to notch up a gold at the continental showpiece. Another history-maker was Arpinder, becoming the first triple jumper in 48 years to fetch a gold after Mohinder Singh Gill (1970).

The athlete from Punjab bossed the finals, making the gold-winning jump of 16.77m in just his third attempt and was never really threatened by the rest of the field. Then there was Dutee, continuing to enjoy her return to top flight athletics, by adding a 200m silver to the one she clinched in the 100m event.

Dutee was not allowed to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games as she was embroiled in a hyperandrogenism case, which eventually went in her favour at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). On Wednesday, she crossed the line in 23.20 which was 0.149 slower than the gold medal winner from Bharain, Edidiong Odiong (22.96).

“I have faced a lot since 2014. No one has gone through such a bad phase. I am glad that I could win two medals for the country. There is always this fear that it might come back. But more the fear, the harder I train,” the diminutive runner said after finding her silver lining.