Fed up with injuries, Swapna Barman is considering retirement | More sports news


KOLKATA: Swapna Barman, the gold medalist of the Asian Games, is battling depression from a gnawing back injury and has decided to give up what will be officially announced in a few days.
The decision comes less than 24 hours after Swapna, a North East Frontier Railway athlete, won a gold medal in the high jump at the 60th National Open Athletics Championships in Warangal.
“My body is no longer taking the toll. I am very depressed mentally and it is not easy,” Swapna told PTI from Warangal.
“I’m a little confused, but I’ve mentally prepared 80-90 percent to quit. I’ll make the ‘big’ announcement after I get to Kolkata.
“I never wanted to go, but I had to go here because of track commitments,” said Swapna, who skipped her pet heptathlon event in Warangal.
After Swapna, who has six toes on each foot, became the first Indian heptathlete to win gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018, she struggled with injuries and a year later won silver at the Asian Championships in Doha – her last international competition.
The lockdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic meant that Swapna could not participate in any competition in 2020 and, while aiming for the qualifying mark for the Tokyo Games in 2021, injuries and a second wave of the pandemic thwarted all of their plans.
This year she only took part in the Federation Cup and the ongoing Open Nationals.
“It seems I wasn’t meant to be. I tried everything but couldn’t and had a lot of injuries,” she said.
Swapna had postponed the surgery on doctors’ advice and had relied on rehab, but she said she’d had enough of it.
“Ultimately, I have to have an operation, even during this meeting I was plagued by back pain. It no longer feels good,” said an emotional Swapna in a choked voice.
The Jalpaiguri athlete was also embroiled in controversy last year after her home was raided by Forest Ministry officials for allegedly illegal logging amid widespread protests in the area.
“People are jealous of my accomplishments and my mother is harassed a lot. I can’t take it anymore. I have to be with my family and deal with it,” she concluded.