Twarit Khel: Asian Games: Swapna Barman, Arpinder Singh clinch historic golds to take India's tally to 11

30 Aug 2018 11:06 AM

Twarit Khel: Asian Games: Swapna Barman, Arpinder Singh clinch historic golds to take India's tally to 11

Updated 30 Aug 2018 11:06 AM

India matched its 2014 Asian Games gold tally after Arpinder Singh and Swapna Barman clinched gold medals in the men’s triple jump and women’s heptathlon events to make it 11 golds for India in the 18th the Asian Games in Jakarta.

The 25-year-old Arpinder returned with his best effort of 16.77 metres in the final, which ensured him a yellow metal and it was after 48 long years that India bagged a gold in the event. This was India’s first medal in this event in more than 30 years.

Barman, on the other hand, became the first Indian to win an Asian Games gold in heptathlon, a feat he achieved despite competing with pain due to a toothache.

The Jalpaiguri girl was a pre-tournament favourite in the Heptathlon event. Barman had clinched the gold medal in the Asian Athletics Championship in 2017 in Bhubaneshwar. The Heptathlon event is a combination of seven track and field events – 100m, 200m, 800m, long jump, high jump, javelin throw and discus throw.

The 21-year-old Barman logged 6026 points from the seven events competed for two days. En route the title, she won the high jump (1003 points) and javelin throw (872 points) events and finished second-best in the shot put (707 points) and long jump (865 points).

Her weakest events were 100m (981 points, 5th position) and  200m in which she finished seventh with 790 points.

Going into the 800m run, the last of the seven-event competition, Barman was leading China's Qingling Wang by 64 points. She needed a good run in the concluding event, in which she eventually finished fourth.

It was the same event after which she had collapsed during the Asian Athletics Championship last year in Bhubaneswar but despite finishing fourth today, she emerged a champion.

Another Indian in the fray, Purnima Hembram was 18 points behind Japan's Yuki Yamasaki, going into the 800m run, but she finished just ahead of Barman and overall fourth with 5837 points.

Qingling (5954) won the silver and Yamasaki the bronze medal with 5873points.

Before Barman, only Bengal's Soma Biswas and Karnataka's J J Shobha and Pramila Aiyappa had returned with a medal from the Asian Games.

Biswas and Shobha had finished two-three at both Busan Asian Games (2002) and the Doha Games (2006), while Pramila had won a bronze at the Guangzhou edition.

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