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Rio 2016: OP Jaisha alleges official apathy AFI refutes charge

Rio 2016: OP Jaisha alleges official apathy AFI refutes charge : On Monday, Marathon runner O P Jaisha alleged that Indian officials did not arrange for energy drinks and water during her race in the Rio Olympics run under scorching heat despite designated stations being given for the country. But, the claim denied by Athletics Federation of India(AFI).

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Marathon runner Jaisha who finished 89th in Rio Olympic women’s marathon event with a below par timing said that I ran in scorching heat. There was no water for us, neither foods nor energy drinks. Only once in 8 km, we get water from Rio organisers which did not help at all. All the countries had their stalls at every 2km but the stall of our country was empty.

Jaisha collapsed at the finish line after completing the race. She had to be rushed to a hospital.

She recalled that It is the rule that our technical officials have to give the drinks to us. We cannot take water from any other team. I saw the Indian board there but there was nothing. I had a lot of problem, I fainted after the race. I was administered glucose, I thought I would die.

The runner claimed that she got no response from officials when she asked why water was not provided to her at the stalls.

Marathon Jaisha said that I got no response when I asked officials why there was no water for us at the booths. Anybody could have done this job, there were lot of people in the Indian athletics contingent. I was in very bad condition.

In a statement, AFI said that each team is allowed to keep their own personalised drinks on the booths and the booths marked in a colour according to the choice of the team and athlete. According to the rule, on the night ahead of the marathon race of women, Indian team manager carried 16 empty bottles, eight each for Jaisha and Kavita Raut.

The team manager asked them to provide their choice of personalised drink which would then be sealed in their presence and handed over to the organisers for installing them on the booth along with a placard as per the requirement of the athlete.

The AFI said that the two athletes, Ms Jaisha and Ms Raut declined the offer and informed the Indian team manager that they did not require personalised drink. If they required it during the race, they would use the drinks available at the refreshment booth and water booth provided by the Olympic organisers.

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The AFI said that according to the rules, an athlete can to be disqualified if he or she accepts a drink from any other person or official standing along the course except taken on their own.

It is also informed that In the World Championships 2015 held in Beijing, Ms Jaisha had declined to use personalised drink in event and her coach informed the Indian team management that she was not in the habit of using personalised drinks.

AFI said that according to the rules and regulations, the Olympic organisers installed one water booth every 2.5 km and one refreshment booth at every 2.5 km. They also said that the Olympic organisers also installed one medical booth was also provided at every 5 km on the marathon course and 2 ambulances accompanied the runners – one ambulance ahead of the runners and one ambulance behind the marathoners.

Further, The AFI in a statement said that the Rio Olympic organisers acted swiftly and provided an ambulance within two minutes after Jaisha had collapsed and within no time the deputy coach of the Indian athletics team and Indian team manager accompanied her to the hospital.

The AFI said that Marathon Ms Jaisha had qualified only for the marathon event for Rio 2016 Olympic Games, hence she was not eligible to run in the 1500m race as claimed in her interview.  This information is also misleading and incorrect.

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