Swapna Barman to undergo series of medical tests, may undergo surgery: coach

Vastavam web: Asian Games gold medallist heptathlete Swapna Barman will undergo a series of medical tests and may opt for surgery if required on her problematic lower back, her coach Subhas Sarkar said Friday. Barman, who became the first Indian heptathlete to win a gold in the Asian Games, had said she was carrying injuries while competing in Jakarta.

She has been having problems at her lumbar (lower back) region since the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar where she had won a gold and was also carrying minor knee injuries. “Bhangachora gari niye besi dur egono jabena (Can’t run with a broken car). She can collapse if she competes now,” he said.

“I have not kept any major competition for her in 2019. I will not make her compete till she fully recovers. The priority is to make her injury free for which she may even have to go through surgery,” he added. Barman will first seek an appointment from a dentist to treat her tooth infection which also had bothered her in Jakarta and then head home in Jalpaiguri for a break of one to two weeks. After she returns to Kolkata from home, Barman and her coach will travel to Mumbai to meet Dr Anant Joshi to ascertain the exact nature of her injuries.

Sarkar said as of now an Olympic medal is too far-fetched a dream for Barman. “The realistic aim is to break the national record and score 6300-plus next year. She can achieve if she keeps her focus,” he said. “We have been making rounds to Mumbai for her treatment and I was told that she should skip as it would be quite an embarrassment if she pulls out in Jakarta. There would have been questions.”

Such was the situation that Barman had to undergo trials on July 16, Sarkar recalled. “But she passed the trials with flying colours. Then after landing in Jakarta, the toothache surfaced. I told her to give her best and compete without targeting medals,” he said. Many have contributed in Barman’s success, including the roadside tea seller who would give me tea on time as the practice would stretch beyond time, Sarkar said.