Swapna Barman realises the dream of hometown Denguajhar

This was the first time that North Bengal came to rejoice success in a major international athletic event.

Indian athlete Swapna Barman (R) celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's Heptathlon event at the 18th Asian Games.   -  PTI

The sleepy town of Denguajhar near Jalpaiguri buzzed of activity as the news of Swapna Barman winning the Asian Games heptathlon gold reached the place.

The scene outside Swapna's house after she won Asian Games heptathlon gold.   -  Special Arrangement

 

This was the first time that North Bengal came to rejoice success in a major international athletic event. “Swapna has proved the faith we had on her ability ever since she joined our coaching system as a kid,” said the Jalpaiguri District Sports Association’s athletics secretary Ujjal Das Choudhury.

READ: Swapna, the athlete with 12 toes, bags gold

Harishankar Roy, who held the national record in men’s high jump for a considerable period of time, was the last big name from the region.

People flocked to Swapna's tin-roofed house to congratulate her mother.   -  Special Arrangement

 

“The athletes from this part of the country are quite good in jumping events and Swapna proved this true with her fantastic effort that got India the first ever gold in Asian Games heptathlon,” her childhood coach added.

“The credit for identifying her talent goes to Samir Das who spotted her capabililties first. It is sad that Samir is no more to see her realising her potential,” Das Choudhury said.

A staunch devotee of Goddess Kali, Swapna spent almost all of a prize money in building a temple outside her house.   -  Special Arrangement

 

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Swapna’s success story also tells a lot about her determination and dedication. “Her father (Panchanan Barman) pulled a rickshaw on which she used to come occasionally for training. She displayed a strange stubbornness about achieving her goals and that set her apart from other trainees. This mental faculty helped her in overcoming the physical pain while winning the gold,” Das Choudhury said.