Swapna Barman’s rare feet have a new direction

first_imgAs she sliced through the cake to celebrate her 22nd birthday, the glint in Swapna Barman’s eyes was glaring enough. Much of her struggles are over after her historic gold at this year’s Asian Games, but Swapna knows that she can’t let her guard down and the journey has just begun.For the pain she has endured all these years, forcing her six-toed feet in shoes that accommodate feet of any ordinary human with five fingers, it was all about to end. After all, she is no ordinary human and that was what, like many, global sportswear giant Adidas also realised.Adidas invited Swapna to travel all the way to their headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, and a team of specialized doctors and technical staff, after a series of tests and mapping of her feet, figured out exactly what the Indian heptathlete required.While Swapna wasn’t the first athlete to get a made-to-order pair of shoes, she definitely was the first to throw a challenge of this nature to the Adidas technicians, considering they had never came across someone with six toes on each of their feet.The Asian Games gold medallist was accompanied by her coach Subhash Sarkar, who was diligently following the tests and the results to ensure that his most famous pupil gets a perfect product as she looks to achieve higher goals.”With six toes in those normal shoes my feet are always in pain. I have somehow endured that pain all my life but it seems, this is going to end soon now,” Swapna told India Today after she was done with those tests.advertisement Doctors at the Adidas headquarters had never come across someone with six toes on each of their feet (India Today Sports)For someone whose discipline includes seven different events, it was a tough and lengthy task to design a shoe with specific requirements for every event. By evening, her sprint shoes were ready and it was only a matter of time before Swapna jumped with enthusiasm to get hold of them.She got herself in those shoes and in the state-of-the-art laboratory, which also has a running track, tested them for the first time. “It looks much better than what I have been wearing all these years and I hope to quickly get back to my training once I am back in India,” says Swapna, who stuck to her word as she began her training the day she landed in Kolkata Friday morning.It was an experience Swapna expects to remember for the rest of her life, as she joins the league of some of the biggest names from the world of sports. “A few weeks earlier Messi was here and many sports stars across sports frequently visit this place. “Sport is a very competitive field today and no one wants to compromise on any aspect, however small it may be,” said Fredric as he took Swapna on a tour of the massive campus in this quiet town, which houses the headquarters of two of the biggest sportswear giants.As part of the contract signed, Adidas will provide Swapna with full training and performance support following the athlete’s detailed footwear assessment and analysis at the headquarters in Herzogenaurach.For someone coming from a poor background in the small town of Jalpaiguri, Swapna’s story has been a special one. While her struggles have forced the world to stand up and take note, she is not done yet and vows to conquer the world with those 12 toes. After all, she is special and has rare feet.last_img read more

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Who will make England’s 2018 WC squad?

first_imgEngland England World Cup 2018 squad: Who will Southgate pick in 23-man selection for Russia? Tom Maston Last updated 2 years ago 20:07 10/10/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) England celebrate Getty Images England World Cup WC Qualification Europe Opinion The Three Lions boss has a number of big decisions to make ahead of the summer tournament as players vie for seats on the plane It may not have been entertaining at times, but England have secured their place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Despite an unbeaten qualification campaign, the Three Lions are not among the favourites for the tournament, with a number of questions regarding their squad still to be answered.With that in mind, Goal takes a look at which players Gareth Southgate is sure to select and others who still have to work to do to earn their spot… Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. ON THE PLANEHarry Kane EnglandDespite a poor start to life at West Ham, Joe Hart remains Southgate’s undisputed No.1 in goal, while it would be a huge shock if Stoke City’s Jack Butland did not join him on the runway come June.In front of them, it remains to be seen whether Southgate will opt for two or three centre-backs, but it would be a shock if both John Stones and Gary Cahill were not included in the first-choice XI.Kyle Walker is also assured of his place, barring injury, while Danny Rose’s absence has clearly been felt over the last six months, and as such he will remain the first-choice left-back should his return to action with Tottenham go to plan.Having handed the captain’s armband to Jordan Henderson on more than one occasion, Southgate is clearly a fan of the Liverpool midfielder, while Eric Dier remains an important cog in England’s sometimes-malfuctioning machine.Perhaps the fiercest competition for places comes in forward areas, but Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling remain regulars while Southgate has admitted his admiration of Adam Lallana as the side’s creative hub.He will be looking to create chances for Harry Kane, who may well skipper the Three Lions in Russia, while Marcus Rashford’s performances in recent qualifiers should have rubber stamped his seat on the plane.IN THE DEPARTURE LOUNGEAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain EnglandDespite a shaky start to life at Everton, Michael Keane has established himself as a regular squad player, and could yet start should Southgate opt for a three-man defence come the tournament.A further option at the back is Phil Jones, who has shone so far this season for Manchester United and, given his flexibility, would be a useful option for Southgate to have.Ryan Bertrand is now well established as Southgate’s second-choice left-back behind Rose, and could even start should the Tottenham man struggle for form upon his return to action.Similarly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been unable to make much of an impact since moving to Liverpool, but has been a regular under Southgate and only a lack of playing time at Anfield would scupper his hopes of selection.Jamie Vardy looks set to complete the journey from non-league football to the World Cup, though he is likely to be used as an option off the bench with Kane now well established as the leading man up front.ON STANDBYHarry Winks EnglandSouthgate looks set to have a number of tough decisions on his hands, with a whole host of players on the fringes of his squad looking to impress before the final decisions are made in early June.Jordan Pickford, Tom Heaton and Fraser Forster are vying for the third goalkeeper berth, while there looks set to be a battle between Kieran Trippier and Nathaniel Clyne for the second-choice right-back berth, presuming the latter returns from his back injury with some decent showings.The likes of Chris Smalling and Harry Maguire will likely need injuries to those in front of them in the pecking order to make it as back-up defenders, with the former struggling to earn a place in the Manchester United side at present.Aaron Cresswell looks set to miss out, presuming Southgate only takes two left-backs, but it is in central midfield where some of the most difficult calls are likely to be made.Tottenham youngster Harry Winks impressed on debut against Lithuania and could yet earn a spot, while West Brom’s Jake Livermore has been a regular in Southgate’s squads. And don’t rule out Jack Wilshere, who has impressed for Arsenal in a handful of outings so far this term, while Fabian Delph’s call-up to the most recent squad suggests he remains in the manager’s thoughts.Further forward, Jesse Lingard has made an impact when used off the bench during Southgate’s reign, while many will hope Ross Barkley can rediscover his best form for either Everton or another club in the second half of the season.Up front there looks set to be a battle between Daniel Sturridge, Jermain Defoe and Danny Welbeck for potentially just one spot as a back-up striker to Kane and Vardy.last_img read more

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