No Water Provided By Indian Officials At Rio, Says Marathon Runner Jaisha - NEWS SENTRY

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Monday, 22 August 2016

No Water Provided By Indian Officials At Rio, Says Marathon Runner Jaisha

No Water Provided By Indian Officials At Rio, Says Marathon Runner Jaisha

BENGALURU : While running the marathon at the Rio Olympics, OP Jaisha 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. And I could not see a single Indian flag. We love the flag so much. It gives us such energy," 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 placed 89 of a total of 157 competitors. She 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.

On her return to Bengaluru, doctors were shocked by her condition. "We wanted to admit her to hospital and arranged the ambulance," said Dr SR Sarala of the Sports Authority of India. "But she insisted that she wanted to go home (to Kerala) for treatment."

Jaisha says she did not want to compete in the marathon. She is a middle distance runner whose pet event is the 1500m. "I love the 1500 event, I must say I don't like the marathon. People run the marathon for money and I have no interest in money," she said, accusing her coach of forcing her to run the long-distance event.

Jaisha's roommate in Rio, Sudha Singh, who took part in the 3000m steeplechase has been hospitalised with a viral infection and is undergoing tests to rule out Zika, since she had travelled from Brazil where it has had a big effect.

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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