In an exclusive interview to Republic TV's Suman Ray, heptathlete Swapna Barman said that she is disappointed at not being given her reward by Mamata Banerjee and feels 'cheated'. Barman created history at the Asian Games in August 2018 when she won India's first-ever Asian Games gold medal in heptathlon. The 2018 Asian Games took place in Jakarta. Barman was awarded the Arjuna Award by President Ram Nath Kovind last month. The Arjuna award is given by the Sports Ministry in recognition of outstanding achievement in sports.
After she won her gold medal, Barman was nominated for multiple awards, including cash prizes and government job offers. Wishes poured in from across the country, including from Mamata Banerjee who had offered her a cash reward of Rs 10 lakhs and also a job offer in the state government. Barman hails from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. The CM had also offered her a piece of land as a gift after Barman highlighted that she needed a place close to the Sports Authority of India's complex in Kolkata. However, she has not received it yet. She said, "Ab main kya bolun... ab tak milta to achha hi lagta na.." (What can I say..obviously would have loved to have got it by now). The athlete has made multiple requests to the authorities to expedite the process, but there has been no progress yet.
Barman also said that she will be skipping the World Athletics Championship which will be beginning from September 27 in Doha, Qatar and will focus on the qualifications for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She said, "I am not preparing for the World Athletics Championship as I am still recovering from injury and rejuvenating myself. I have Tokyo Olympics qualification in mind and will be back in track & field early next year". She also said that she did not want to rush her way back into competing at the top level since that will not help her recover completely from her injury." Barman has been recovering from a back injury and meniscus tear, and is close to full training again.