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Will do my best to qualify for Tokyo Olympics: Swapna

Kolkata, Sep 26 (udaipur kiran) Asian Games gold medal winning heptathlete Swapna Barman on Thursday said it’s difficult for her to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as she is no longer part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) but she will try her best to better her tally and make the cut.

Swapna clinched India’s first-ever heptathlon gold at the Asian Games last year with a total of 6026 points in seven events. To make the Olympic qualifying mark, she has to better her tally to 6420 points.

“It’s tough but I’m confident. I will do my best next year to raise the points,” Swapna said on the sidelines of a felicitation programme here.

“I don’t have any regrets. It would have been nice to be there in TOPS. My focus is on ensuring that I’m in the best possible shape ahead of the Tokyo Olympics,” said the 23-year-old, who received the Arjuna Award recently.

Swapna, who is from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, said that she is yet to get the plot of land promised to her by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“We have made so many requests but the officials have told us that the finance committee has rejected the proposal of land. I want to know whether the Chief Minister is aware that I’ve been denied land despite her promise on the sidelines of a news event about a year back,” Swapna said.

“I’ve just got Rs 10 lakh and a rented house for which I’m paying rent of Rs 4,000 from my own pocket. I feel ignored,” she added.

Swapna was promised a plot close to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Eastern Centre but till date nothing has been done. Soon after winning the Asian Games gold, Swapna had urged the West Bengal government to help her get a house in the city as she does not have a permanent address here.

Swapna has been training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Eastern Training Centre since 2012.

–udaipur kiran

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