Right now the most trending story is Olympic athlete O.P Jaisha and her marathon run.
Orchatteri Puthiyaveetil Jaisha is a 33-year-old Kerala-born athlete. She is also the current national record holder in the marathon. O.P Jaisha became the talk of the town after her Marathon event, where she finished 89th and lost consciousness on the finishing line. She was taken over to the clinic immediately. Her coach Nikolai Snesarev also got in trouble with officials over her condition at the medical facility and faced detention.
On Monday, Jaisha said that the Indian officials did not provide her with water and energy drink which affected her event and well-being. The 42 km race which began around 6 am IST, saw her climbing steadily till the 10th km mark where she climbed to 47th spot. On halfway, mark she stood 59th. After this, she dropped to 68th, then 81st and finally finished 89th with a timing of 2:4:19.
The marathon runner said, “Why would I lie? There was no water in Rio…After 21 km, I was really exhausted, I could not even walk”. She got water only once in every 8 km from organizers as the allotted stalls for India were empty .No officials were present too. Later she asked the Indian officials about this but got no answer.
After getting a huge backlash all over the country, AFI refuted all these allegations and released a statement. AFI stated, “we fail to comprehend why Ms. Jaisha who has been nurtured and trained with relentless dedication by the foreign expert and the AFI for years, choose to state incorrect information”. So, Jaisha asked to check the camera footage of the event to verify her claims.
AFI also stated that Jaisha declined to use the personalised drink in 2015 world championship, Beijing. And this time too, her coach informed the management that “she wasn’t in the habit of using personalised drinks”. Though energy drinks were given to other Indian marathon runners. Jaisha’s fellow runner Kavita accepted that claim of not having personalised drink during the event. She also added that she could comment on her habit only.
When this blame game is going on, there is another part of the story which is true. Jaisha complained that she did not want to run the marathon but her coach made her. Jaisha was all set to leave marathon in 2015 after Mumbai marathon. She wanted to concentrate on track events. When she qualified for Marathon at Rio, there was a difference of opinion between her and coach. Because the coach thought she could do it well. But Jaisha was not ready to accept that and threatened to quit. Later, AFI took things in their hand and found a way. Coach allowed the athlete to train for the track event for Rio. By the end of the year, she had to choose one event. AFI stated that Jaisha qualified only for the marathon.
Now there is a two-member committee appointed by the sports ministry to look into this matter. If Jaisha’s allegations prove to be true, we will get another huge sports scandal to deal with. But let’s not forget that she has gone through a traumatic experience very recently. It will be best for Indian sports scenario if this affair clears up as soon as possible.