ICF sounds out Nike on customised shoes for India's 12-toed Swapna Barman

Hours after Asian gold medallist Swapna Barman appealed for customised shoes to fit her six-toed feet, the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai opened up channels with Nike for making the special shoes.

The 21-year-old Barman of West Bengal made history on Wednesday by becoming the first Indian heptathlete to win a gold medal in Asian Games, 2018.

Hours after Swapna Barman made India proud with a gold medal and appealed for customised shoes to fit her six-toed feet, the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai opened up channels with Nike, United States, a leading manufacturer of sports footwear, for making the special shoes.

The 21-year-old Barman of West Bengal made history on Wednesday by becoming the first Indian heptathlete to win a gold medal in Asian Games, 2018. Despite a toothache, she managed to achieve the feat.

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The athlete revealed that she had six toes on both feet which hurt during training sessions and appealed for customised shoes.

Acting on the instructions of ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani, railway officials got in touch with Nike and also established contact with the Indian High Commission in Thailand and Indonesia to reach the athlete.

“The Sports Branch of ICF is coordinating with Nike officials to expedite (manufacture and delivery of) the customised shoes.

"We hope to send six pairs of shoes to the gold medallist in three or four days. Though Barman has nothing to do with the railways, ICF takes pride in contributing this to the athlete who has brought laurels to the nation,” a senior ICF official Sportstar on Thursday.

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Replying to Barman’s tweet that “pain is the best motivator,” Mani congratulated her and offered to present the shoes.

The ICF, which is the largest manufacturer of coaches for the Indian Railways, has also contributed significantly for the development of sports by establishing state-of-the-art infrastructure and many of its players/teams bagging top positions in the national sports arena.