New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Indian long-distance runner O.P. Jaisha has revealed shocking levels of official apathy and callousness during the women’s marathon event at the Rio Olympics, which she claims could have proved fatal for her.
Jaisha has claimed that Indian officials did not bother to make arrangements to provide water and energy drinks to her during the race despite designated stations being allocated for Indian athletes.
“It was very hot there. The competition was at 9 a.m., I ran in scorching heat. There was no water for us, neither recovery drinks nor food. Only once in 8 km did we get water (from the Rio organisers) which did not help at all. All the countries had their stalls at every two kilometers but our country’s stall was empty,” Jaisha told a television news channel.
“We are supposed to be given drinks by our technical officials, it’s the rule. We cannot take water from any other team. I saw the Indian board there but there was nothing. I had a lot of problem, I fainted after the race. I was administered glucose, I thought I would die,” she added.
Jaisha finished 89th in the women’s marathon event at the Rio Olympics with a below-par timing of 2 hours, 47 minutes and 19 seconds.
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 was detained by the local police for several hours.
“My coach was very angry and he ended up arguing with the doctors. The coach thought I was dead. He pushed the doctor to enter my room because he knew he would be held responsible if anything happened to me. My coach was blamed for misbehaving with doctor but he was told Jaisha has almost died, what could he have done?” Jaisha said.
“I asked officials why there was no water for us but I got no response. I don’t know what they were doing. There were lot of people in the Indian athletics contingent, anybody could have done this job,” she added.
“I don’t know where they were. I was in very bad shape.”