The Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday criticized the Centre for not being able to provide essential facilities to Indian marathoner OP Jaisha at the recently held Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and said that those responsible should be made answerable.
Party leader Ajay Alok dubbed the whole episode as sad and asserted that it is for the government to look after the nation’s athletes.
“This is very irresponsible. The people responsible for this should be made answerable. It is for a nation’s government to look after the athletes who are representing them, the whole episode is very saddening,” said Alok.
Jaisha had claimed on Monday that while running the marathon at the Rio Olympics, she encountered a series of unstaffed Indian desks, and that there was nobody there 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 kilometers, but you need water after each kilometer. Other athletes were getting food along the way, I got nothing. I could have died there,” she said.
Competitors’ countries are entitled to place a desk every 2.5 kilometers to offer them liquids. Instead, it was official Olympics counters – placed about 8 kilometers apart – that Jaisha had to rely on.
Jaisha finished 89th in the women’s marathon event with a timing of 2:47:19 and collapsed after reaching the end of the race. She was immediately taken to the nearest medical facility, where her coach Nikolai Snesarev got into an altercation with one of the doctors and ended up being detained for half-a-day by the local police.