New Delhi: The apathy of Indian officials towards the country's athletes hit a new low at the recently concluded Rio Olympics.
According to a report in the Times of India, national record holder OP Jaisha who collapsed at the end of her marathon, wasn't even offered adequate drinking water by the Indian officials.
"Though there were officials from all other countries to provide refreshments to their runners at designated points -after every 2.5 km -there was no one from India and our desks were empty next to the country's name and flag," Jaisha told TOI.
"I don't know how I managed to finish without getting enough water to drink. The organizers provided water and sponge only at 8-km intervals. The water from these stations lasted hardly 500m and it was almost impossible to run after the 30-km mark under the scorching sun," she further added.
Despite that, she put in a spirited effort to complete the race in in 2 hours, 47.19s.
"While other athletes had the luxury of taking glucose, honey etc there was nothing for us (Jaisha and Kavita) to drink at our stations. Not even water," Jaisha said.
The 33-year-old regained consciousness 2-3 hours after collapsing.
"They injected seven bottles of glucose to help me recover. I didn't see any doctor from our contingent while help came from fellow marathon runner Gopi T and coach Radhakrishnan Nair. Coach Nikolai was also there for few hours before he was taken away by the organizers.
"I was OK for the next few days. But now I'm feeling very weak and it will take at least 2-3 months of ayurvedic treatment and massage for my body to recover," said Jaisha.
IAAF rules permitted India to assign officials at four points to offer water and refreshments to athletes.
The Kerala girl also pinned the blame on her coach Nikolai Snesearev for forcing her to run the marathon.
"I wanted to qualify in the 1500m (after the Mumbai marathon) but the coach forced me to continue in marathon,
"Even when I suffered an injury during the training period the coach didn't give me time to recover. Moreover, we always trained early in the morning, first in Ooty and later in Rio. So, it was tough to adjust to the heat here," she told the newspaper.