2 Questions - What is Heptathlon? Who is Swapna Barman?
Heptathlon is made up of Hepta (seven) and Athlon (Greek for contest). It is an athletic event, in particular one for women, in which each competitor takes part in the same prescribed seven events (100 metres hurdles, high jump, shot-put, 200 metres run, long jump, javelin and 800 metres run). These events take place over 2 days.
Who is Swapna Barman? She is the first Indian heptathlete to win an Asian Games gold. She was fifth on her Asian Games debut as teenager in Incheon four years ago.
Why is this important? Because we know the Indian prowess in athletics. We also know about the nervousness of youngsters performing at the highest level at the biggest stage.
But if this is too easy, consider this –
· You are born with 12 toes – 6 on each foot. You can only afford normal footwear which hurts you every time you use it
· On the day of competition due to tooth inflammation your jaw is 2 times the actual size
· You come from a poor family and your dad is bedridden and your mom supports the family which also has 3 more children
So what do you do on competition day? You pull off three personal bests in the competition – the Shot Put, the Long Jump and the Javelin Throw, snatching away the biggest medal of your career. Isn’t this the stuff that champions are made of?
This was Asian Games in Sep 2018. We produced our highest ever total medal tally of 69 medals in the tournament and matched the highest tally of 15 golds (last achieved in the inaugural 1951 games held in New Delhi)
Swapna followed this up with a silver at the Asian Athletic Championship held in Doha last month.
Because the only thing better than beating the odds once is beating them twice!!
Enjoy your weekend J