For the last few days, Marathoner OP Jaisha (Kerala), who finished 89th at Rio 2016, has been in the news for all wrong reasons. She has managed to trigger a national outrage thanks to Arnab Goswami and Times Now with her startling claims that she was not served water by the Indian officials during the race.
Jaisha, who had fainted at the finishing point, tried to gain sympathy saying she could have died at Rio. Another marathoner Kavita Raut, who took part in Rio Olympics, rubbished Jaisha’s claims. “The team management asked us whether we needed special refreshments, but I said no. Providing water was the responsibility of Rio organisers and there was no scarcity at all”, she said.
Kavita further claimed that the Indian officials were always in touch with them and queries about their wellbeing before and after the race. “During the race, I found adequate water at all water stations. Since Jaisha was ahead of me, she could have found those too. But, I don’t want to comment on her claims. I had no trouble,” she added.
Jaisha’s Coach Nikolai Snesarev gave a new twist to the saga, saying Jaisha had declined the offer for extra energy drinks, gels or water, a day prior to the race. Deputy AFI coach Radhakrishnan Nair also corroborated his claims, saying he had gone to meet Snesarev and get his confirmation.
Nikolai further said that Jaisha has been distracted off late by all the negative media pressure. “She never had any extra refreshments during her events,” he said. Now, Jaisha has put the blame on her Coach and accused him of not keeping her in the loop.