OP Jaisha alleges official apathy, AFI refutes charge

The Athletics Federation of India refuted Jaisha’s claims and said proper arrangements were made for the marathon.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: August 23, 2016 9:47:17 am
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INDIAN ATHLETE OP Jaisha, who collapsed during her marathon run at the recently concluded Rio Games, said she was not provided water and energy drinks by officials despite designated stations being granted for India. Jaisha added that she got no response from the officials when she tried to get a clarification on the issue.

“It was very hot, and since the competition was at 9am, I ran in scorching heat. There was no water for us, neither recovery drinks nor food. Only once in 8kms did we get water (from the Rio organisers) which did not help at all. All the countries had their stalls at every 2kms but our country’s stall was empty,” said Jaisha who finished 89th in Rio Olympics women’s marathon event with a below-par timing of 2:47:19. Jaisha had collapsed at the finish line after completing the marathon and had to be rushed to a hospital 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.

Meanwhile, the Athletics Federation of India refuted Jaisha’s claims and said proper arrangements were made for the marathon. It added that neither Jaisha nor her coach had not told any athletics official present in Rio about any specific requirement for any drinks. “Each team is allowed to keep their own personalised drinks on the booths, marked in a colour as per the choice of the team and athlete.

Accordingly, as per the rule, on the night ahead of women’s marathon race, Indian team manager carried 16 empty bottles, eight each for Jaisha and Kavita Raut and visited the duo and their coach Nikolai Snesarev in their room,” the AFI said in a statement. “The team manager asked them to provide their choice of personalised drink which would then be sealed in their presence and handed over to the organisers for installing them on the booth along with a placard as per the requirement of the athlete.” The AFI release added that two athletes, Jaisha and Raut declined the offer and informed the Indian team manager that they didn’t require personalised drink, and if at all they required it during the race, they would use the drinks available at the water booth and refreshment booth provided by the organisers.

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