India’s impressive medal haul at the Asian Games hit a false note early on Monday morning, with heptathlete Swapna Barman indirectly accusing compatriot and bronze medal winner Agasara Nandini of being ineligible to compete.
“I have lost my Asian Games bronze medal to a transgender woman at the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China. I want my medal back as it is against the rules of athletics. Help me and support me please,” Burman tweeted before deleting it a few hours later even as the AFI refused to comment, saying it would first look into the matter.
By then, however, the damage had been done. While Barman only gave a cryptic reply before going incommunicado, a furious and upset Nandini slammed her, saying she would take up the matter with the federation.
“I will definitely take it up with the federation. I will not leave this lightly. I won my first international medal, here at the Asian Games, and I wanted to enjoy it a little but but I have not got a chance to do even that. Why did she not say anything when I started competing? How can someone say something like this about another woman,” an emotional Nandini said.
Speaking from the airport en route to home because of her mother’s illness, Nandini demanded Swapna to show proof for her accusations.
“We only think of winning medals for India, I knew nothing when I started only that I have to do well in sports and get medals for the country. Now that I have won, all these trolls have come out. Whenever someone starts getting successful, there are always many to pull them down. But this is not about me at all, I am sad that she did not think before defaming India’s name in a foreign country,” Nandini continued.
Barman had earlier claimed “I have been training for more than 13 years and I know how much training can lead to what performance. Everyone knows that no one can achieve this in four months. I think she was not selected for the Asian Championships also and I thought the same decision will be taken this time but only later I saw that she was also competing here.”
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