National record holder OP Jaisha collapsed at the end of the 43km marathon in Rio after having insufficient water available to her throughout the run. All participating countries were supposed to have officials present every 2.5km to provide athletes with water and other fluids to grab on-the-go. However, Jaisha's support staff was nowhere to be found at their designated points except every 8km which wasn't adequate to keep her hydrated all through her run.
Jaisha completed her race in 2 hours and 47.19 seconds, finishing in 89th position.
Here is a narration in her own words:
I don't know how I managed to finish without getting enough water to drink. The organisers provided water and sponge only at 8km intervals. The water from these stations lasted hardly 500m and it was almost impossible to run after the 30km mark under the scorching sun.
If you don't drink water during a marathon, you could easily die. "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 massages for my body to recover.
They injected seven bottles of glucose to help me recover.
Though there were officials from all other countries to provide refreshments to their runners at the designated points-after 2.5km-there was no one from India and our desks were empty.
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.
The weather during the period of the marathon went up to 42 Degree Celsius.
A lot of people said that she is fortunate to be alive.
Jaisha's sister said: "After Jaisha had collapsed, she was sent to the dispensary and placed on a block of ice, where she developed a fever. Her coach came in to check on her but upon seeing her pulseless, he had left the room agitated."
Jaisha had been training to compete in the 1500m event but after arguments with her coach which were later resolved, Jaisha had participated in the event.
"I wanted to qualify in the 1500m 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.”