OP Jaisha was coerced by her coach to run the marathon!
While running the marathon at the Rio Olympics, OP Jaisha says she encountered a series of unstaffed Indian desks – which meant 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 km, but you need water after each kilometre. Other athletes were getting food along the way. I got nothing,” she told NDTV in Bengaluru.
Competitors’ countries are entitled to place a desk every 2.5 km to offer them liquids. Instead, it was official Olympics counters – placed about 8 km apart – that Jaisha had to rely on.
Jaisha said she is a middle distance runner whose pet event is the 1500m, but that she was coerced by her coach to run the marathon.
Jaisha placed 89 and collapsed after she finished the 42-km race. “I seemed to have no pulse,” she said. “This is like my second life.” She said while she was struggling, Indian officials had no idea about her condition. “After three hours, they came looking for me to the medical centre,” the 33-year-old said to news agency ANI.
The negligence that Jaisha speaks of drives home brutally how tough it has been for Indian sportspersons to compete at Rio. Without exception, they trained without any systemic support at home, counting on the resources and commitment of parents and coaches.
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OP Jaisha Speaks Exclusively to Times Now | Rio Marathon Apathy
“There Was no Indian representative for providing food and water during the marathon. I Was About to Die There. The temperature was very high, I was about to die. All other countries had kept drink stalls at 2 Kms. Even India had a stall but no representatives were present,” said Jaisha in an interview to CNN-News18.