Amidst the controversy surrounding marathoner O P Jaisha’s claim that the Indian sports officials were missing from their desks when she required refreshments and water during her 42-km long race, her fellow runner Kavita Raut and coach Nikolai Snesarev have now dismissed former’s allegations.
In an emailed conversation with The Indian Express, Chris Turner, a member of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) communications team said, “The IAAF has contacted the Rio 2016 Olympic Games local organizing committee (LOC) and were informed of the following: The LOC had water stations working at the following points: 2.5 km, 7.5 km, 12.5 km, 17.5 km, 22.5 km, 27.5 km, 32.5 km, 37.5 km and 40 km, plus of course at the start and finish.”
Jaisha after her return from Rio asserted that “could have died” because of this negligence shown by Athletics Federation of India (AFI) officials by not arranging water and energy drink for her during the marathon. However, AFI snubbed her allegation by saying that providing water was the prerogative of the organizers.
Jaisha fainted at the finish line after securing the 89th position and later remarked she got water only once, at the 8-km mark.
Responding to such claims, her coach Snesarev said that Jaisha herself refused personalized refreshment during her race at Rio. Both of them never used personalized drinks and when he asked her is she needed it this time, Jaisha denied. And this denial was subsequently conveyed to the AFI officials.
“A day before the race, Radhakrishnan Nair (deputy chief coach) asked me whether she (Jaisha) would need individual refreshment or drinks for the race. I asked Jaisha whether she will use personalised drinks or normal water provided by organisers. She said she will use normal water only. Then I told Nair that she will not need personalised refreshment and she would prefer pure water. That is it,” Snesarev was quoted as saying by PTI.
While her fellow runner Kavita Raut, who too was a participant in the race said that she was provided with enough water while ran 2-km behind Jaisha. She reasoned that in that case those running ahead of her must have been given enough water.