File photo of Swapna Barman© X (formerly Twitter)
India’s Swapna Barman on Thursday tendered an “unconditional apology” for her sensational allegations that she lost out on a bronze medal in the women’s heptathlon competition of the ongoing Asian Games to a “transgender” athlete. Swapna, who won the gold medal in the 2018 edition of the Asian Games in Jakarta, alleged that compatriot Nandini Agasara was ineligible to compete in the women’s event as she is a “transgender” but later deleted her post from social media. However, she apologised for her remarks on this day through her social media account. “I wish to tender my unconditional apology for my tweet the other day specially to my co-athlete (it) was the sheer disappointment and momentous emotional outburst which made me react in this manner against the ethos of sports and deeply feels sorry everyone for my emotional reaction,” Swapna wrote on X.
Nandini won the bronze medal in the women’s heptathlon in Hangzhou, while Swapna failed to defend her crown, settling for the fourth position on Sunday.
“I have lost my Asian Games bronze medal to a transgender woman at the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China. I want my medal back as it is against the rules of athletics. Help me and support me please,” Barman had said after the event.
Nandini aggregated a total of 5712 points, a personal best. She topped the final event of the heptathlon, the 800m race, to ensure a spot on the podium, ahead of Barman.
Besides the 800m event, Nandini also won the 200m race, which earned her 936 points.
As per the rules of World Athletics, which came into effect from March 31 this year, every single athlete who has gone through what has been defined as ‘male puberty’ by the global body is barred from competing in female world ranking events.
Swapna managed 5708 points at the Hangzhou games to settle for fourth place in the women’s heptathlon as China’s Ninali Zheng won the gold medal after collecting a total of 6149 points.
Ekaterina Voronina of Uzbekistan took the silver with 6056 points. PTI AH AH UNG
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