Asian Games 2018: Swapna Barman wins gold in women's heptathlon, despite battling toothache

Barman injured her face while competing in Women
Barman in action during Women's Heptathlon

What's the story?

India's Swapna Barman fought off a nagging toothache to win the gold medal in Women's Heptathlon at the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia on Wednesday. Fellow countrywoman, Purnima Hembram finished fourth in the same event.

In case you didn't know...

The 2018 Asian Games are coming to us live from the cities of Jakarta and Palembang. For the first time in the history of the pan-Asian multi-sport event, two cities have been chosen as the co-hosts. It is also after fifty-six years that the Games has returned to Indonesia.

We are deep into the competition now, with only four days remaining. India stands at the ninth position in the medal tally with four days to go. They currently have fifty-three medals.

The heart of the matter

Swapna Barman showed true grit and determination as she finished the Women's Heptathlon in the first position. The Indian had been suffering from a terrible toothache and had her jaw bandaged during the event but soldiered on to win the Gold medal. Purnima Hembram, also competing in the same event, finished fourth.

There were huge celebrations for Swapna as she crossed the finish line on August 29. The Indian smashed the 6000 point-ceiling to win the gold medal.

The Heptathlon consisted of seven events -- 100m, High Jump, 200m, Shot Put, Javelin Throw, Long Jump, and 800m. The Indian led through most of these, eventually winning the medal after 800m.

The Indian also won the High Jump and the Javelin stages, along with good finishes in others, to win the ultimate prize.

Fellow compatriot Purnima Hembram came close to winning a medal herself. However, she missed out on a Bronze by a whisker, as she finished the competition in the fourth position.

Regardless of Swapna's win, the Indian Athletics Team has had an extremely successful tournament. They have contributed to win a total of twelve medals, which is by far the biggest contribution to the Indian medal tally.

There have been medals in both track and field events.

In track, Manjit Singh (Men's 800m) won a Gold, while Dutee Chand (Women's 100m, 200m), Hima Das (Women's 400m), Muhammed Anas Yahiya (Men's 400m), Jinson Johnson (Men's 800m), Dharun Ayyasamy (Men's 400m Hurdles), and Sudha Singh (Women's 3000m Steeplechase) all won Silver in their respective events.

In Field events, there was success as well. Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Shot Put) started things off with a Gold. Neeraj Chopra (Javelin Throw) added another, while Arpinder Singh (Men's Triple Jump) won a Gold as well. The only Silver medallist in field events was Neena Varakil (Long Jump).

What's next?

The Heptathlete showed immense determination to win the event and continued a great competition for Indian Athletics. Here's hoping that she continues to win many more medals.

How many more gold medals do you think India can win at the Asian Games 2018? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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