Asian Games gold-medallist Swapna Barman will soon get customised shoes for her 12-toed feet just as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has tied up with footwear company Adidas to provide specially-designed gear for the heptathlete.
Sports Authority of India Director General Neelam Kapur said, “After coming to know about Swapna’s case, the Sports Minister immediately directed us from Jakarta to get customised shoes made for her. We have taken up the
matter with Adidas and they have agreed to provide the footwear.”
Sapna became the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in heptathlon at Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta which she won by giving her career-best performance.
Sapna was born with six toes on both her feet, however, her problem was revealed internationally only after she won Gold in ASIAD.
After her victory, the athlete emotionally appeals for customised shoes and the Sports Authority of India prompted this into action following Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore directed the concerned authorities to accept the matter seriously.
The SAI has so far sent a communication to Swapna’s coach Subash Sarkar at its Centre of Excellence in Kolkata, questioning specifications, like pressure points, size, and drawings for the customised spikes.
Barman confirmed that she got a mail from the SAI headquarters in New Delhi On Thursday, wanting for the necessary details required for the shoes.
Swapna’s coach Subash Sarkar said, “Once I informally told an SAI official about the shoe issue but I never took up the matter seriously. Actually, I didn’t want her to alter things just before the Asian Games as she got adjusted to the regular shoes and was doing fine. Trying a new shoe just before the Games could have been adverse,”