Olympic qualification tough to achieve: heptathlete Swapna BurmanPTI | New Delhi | Updated: 13-09-2019 20:00 IST | Created: 13-09-2019 20:00 IST
Asian Games gold-medallist Indian heptathlete Swapna Burman on Friday said she will leave no stone unturned to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but achieving the qualification standard will be a tough task. Swapna, who has six toes on each feet, became the first Indian to win a heptathlon gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
"Like every athlete, I also dream of participating in the Olympics. I am not sure if I'll be able to do it but I will do everything possible, I will try my best," Swapna told PTI. "I have to improve a little in all the (seven) events and then I qualify," she added.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has set the qualifying mark for the women's heptathlon event at 6420 aggregate points from the seven events which is 220 more than the Rio Olympics qualifying standard of 6200. Swapna's personal best is 6026 points. The Olympic qualification will be decided on the basis of ranking points in international events from May 2019 to June 2020.
"This time the qualification has been set very high. Athletes from Asia are not able to achieve it," Sawpna said. According to IAAF rules, athletes can qualify by achieving the entry standard within the qualification period or through world ranking position at the end of the qualification period if all the slots of required number of competitors for an event are not filled up.
The 22-year-old has been out of action since April due to a injury (meniscus tear of the knee) but believes injuries are lucky for her. She will be back in action in January. "I think injuries are lucky for me. If you look at the Asian Games even after all the injuries I got the gold. So I take injuries in a positive way."
Talking about the upcoming World Championships Swapna said, "There is a gap between the Asian and world level in athletics. But this time I think India's performance at the World Championship will be good. This time there is a hope that we will do well." Swapna was in town for an Adidas event. The sporting apparel giants launched their new VRCT jacket as a canvas of individuality and self expression. Squash player Dipika Pallikal and boxer Simranjit Kaur were alse present at the event.