The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday dubbed the abysmal treatment of marathoner O P Jaisha at the Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as shameful and demanded the resignation of Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Vijay Goel.
NCP leader Majid Memon said, “Is it not a matter of great shame for us? We have to hang our heads in shame that our athletes who go to compete at world level, internationally, and we are expecting that they would bring gold for us, and we are not able to provide them water. I don’t know how the administration can be so careless, so insensitive and irresponsible I think the sports minister’s resignation should be a small compensation for this,” said Memon.
Jaisha said that while running the marathon at the Rio Olympics, she encountered a series of unstaffed Indian desks, and that there was nobody to give her water or refreshments in blistering heat.
“Running that distance, in that heat, you need so much water. There is a common water point after 8 kilomters, but you need water after each kilometer. Other athletes were getting food along the way. I got nothing. “I could have died there,” she said.
Competitors’ countries are entitled to place a desk every 2.5 kilomters to offer them liquids. Instead, it was official Olympics counters – placed about 8 kilometers apart- that Jaisha had to rely on.
Jaisha finished 89th in the Rio Olympics women’s marathon event with a timing of 2:47:19, and collapsed after reaching the end of the race. She was immediately taken to the nearest medical facility, where her coach Nikolai Snesarev got into an altercation with one of the doctors and ended up being detained for half-a-day by the local police.