Social media erupts in anger over alleged apathy towards marathon runner OP Jaisha in Rio

There has been a huge uproar on social media platforms over marathon runner OP Jaisha's claim that she was not provided water adequately by the Indian officials at Rio during the women's marathon event.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 23, 2016 4:27 pm
OP jaisha_759_IE file Social media has come out in support of OP Jaisha, the athlete who claimed that she was not even provided water during an event. (Source: Indian Express file photo)

When Indian marathon runner OP Jaisha said the India authorities did not provide her with enough food, water or energy drinks, people took to the Internet to call the authorities out for their reckless attitude. The 33-year-old athlete managed to complete the run, but collapsed at the finish line during the Rio Olympics, finishing 89th in women’s marathon event.

“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 8km did we get water (from the Rio organisers) which did not help at all. All the countries had their stalls at every 2km but our country’s stall was empty,” Jaisha had said. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) refuted her claims saying that proper arrangements were made for each team in the marathon.

ALSO READ OP Jaisha alleges official apathy, AFI refutes charge

The spat between the 33-year-old athlete and the AFI has now triggered outrage on the social media, with people questioning the authorities’ biased attitude towards the athletes. People have criticised the authorities for celebrating the success of PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar, but overlooking even the basic needs of others. Some have demanded an Ashok Chakra for Jaisha for bravely completing the run even in such harsh weather conditions. Others have suggested that the only way the government can apologise to her now is by giving her a National Bravery Award for running without water for 42km.

Evidently, people were plainly disgusted and hurt by the callous behaviour of the authorities.



Jaisha had previously said to the media that the event was at nine in the morning, and it was terribly hot at the time. Though, just like other countries, India was allotted refreshment stalls, Jaisha was not provided water or energy drinks by the officials.

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  1. D
    Aug 24, 2016 at 8:41 am
    It is high time now for competent retired sports personalities be appointed to official positions instead of most incompetent persons who do not understand the needs and genuine requirements of the athletes. Sycophancy and Nepotism is the rule of the day criteria for appointment to most of the sports authority positions in India. Before preparing athletes for any compeion there is much overhauling to be done in the management of sports authorities in India. Unless this part of the game is taken care of well, there is no much chance for any remarkable change in the performance of Indian athletes in international sports arena in the near future. Today OP Jaisha talked, the others are afraid about consequences so they are tight lipped. We must help our athletes to tread the winners podium instead of giving them lessons on how to take a ride on the hospital stretcher.