Nandini Agasara's strong response to Swapna Barman's controversial 'transgender' allegations post Asian Games medal loss
Swapna Barman did not name any athlete in her now-deleted post on social media
The Indian contingent at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, incurred a major controversy on Monday morning as Swapna Barman, who was the toast of the nation back in 2018 after her historic gold medal haul in women's heptathlon at the Asian Games in Jakarta, alleged that she lost a medal at the 19th edition of the Games to a transgender woman. While she did not name any athlete in her now-deleted post on social media, Nandidni Agasara, who claimed the bronze this time in the women's heptathlon event on Sunday, responded strongly at the allegations and vowed to take it up with he Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
Barman, who was on the verge of retiring from the sport owing to a spinal injury, had decided to give Hangzhou a last try to defend her crown. But following a nightmarish show amid injury concerns, Barman finished with 5708 points and narrowly missed out on the bronze-medal spot by just four points.
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A day after the loss, Barman took social media by storm by alleging that she lost the medal to a transgender athlete. "I have lost my Asian Games bronze medal to transgender women at the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou,China. I want my medal back as it is against the rules of our athletics. Help me and support me please. #protestforfairplay," she had posted, but deleted it later.
There was no mention of Nandini or any other athlete in the post made by Barman, but the bronze medallist was left furious at the act, while asserting her identity as a woman in an interview with India Today.
"I know what I am. Ask her to show proof. I will also show that I have won the medal for India. I only want to do well for the country. Now we have won, so people have started talking about it. I will take up this issue with AFI for sure. I wanted to enjoy the moment of winning the medal but going back to India as my mother is not well," said Nandini.
Nandini had claimed the bronze medal after finishing with a personal best of 5712 points.