Heptathlete Swapna Barman finally received her pair of custom-made shoes by Adidas as she gears up for her first competition of the season in Federation Cup in Patiala from March 15 to 19.
Asian Games gold medallist, who suffers from rare congenital malformation of 12 toes, has been provided with a pair of custom-designed shoes for all the seven events in the sport – 200m, 800m, 100m hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin throw – by the German sportswear giants after she revealed her plight of enduring tremendous pain while performing due to her birth defect.
“I have been provided with shoes for all the events. Most of them have been comfortable as they have been redesigned after I had issues wearing them earlier. There seems to be an issue with some of them yet, but I am sure it will be taken care of soon as my shoes are always modified if I feel any discomfort,” the 22-year-old athlete told Mail Today from Kolkata.
After being dropped from the TOPS list last year, Barman had revealed her dream of winning the first medal in the event at the Olympics. It is going to be a crucial season for her in that sense as she will be targeting Tokyo 2020 qualification, along with Asian and World Championships spot.
Barman, who went through troubled times before competitions due to multiple injuries last season, including a threatening grade 3 meniscus tear, said she has managed to keep her fit this time around and is hopeful of an injury-free season.
“My body has responded well to training this pre-season and I haven’t suffered any injuries so far. I feel pretty confident of a good show at the Federation Cup,” said the heptathlete.
Her coach Subhash Sarkar said they have set a target of 6100 at the nationals in Patiala, which is more than what she mustered in her gold-winning performance of 6026 in Jakarta last year. However, he added there are areas that they still need to work on.
“We again did a good pre-season and looking at the results, we will be targeting 6100 in Patiala. Once we succeed in doing that, we will look to improve other areas in her performance, especially her running. We will be looking for a biomechnical expert to improve her timing further,” said the coach.