Mugundan wrote:Instead of getting blasted by the media and fans for not providing water on the route (as though no water was available at all for 42km), it would be better for AFI to place a few bottles of some energy drink on two or three tables (or as permitted) so as to avoid a repeat of this kind of drama.
But, this is not the first time our guys have run a marathon. What was the procedure in Asiads, Commonwealth Games, etc? If there was commonly a request by athletes for plain water at country-manned desks, one would think that this issue would have come up long ago, and that our officials would be aware of it. I have to assume that the officials were never doing anything more than what they did at Olympics (which is to assume that those desks are not for plain water but energy drinks, and didn't need to be manned with just water if the athletes said they needed no energy drinks).
I assume none of our marathoners ever cared about it as an issue (like Kavita Raut this time, and the men's marathoners who didn't say anything) because the IAAF-mandated organizer-booths are clearly enough for marathon runners to get plain water. There is no way IAAF would cut corners on the mandated frequency of watering stations and leave it to the judgment of national federations, knowing the potential dangers of dehydration. If I were an Indian official there at Rio, I would not think for a minute that any more water stations were needed than what the Rio-organizers provided, because that is what I'd have always known from other events too, and I would think of having somebody at our own desks only if anything other than water was to be given (or if the athlete had specifically told me that additional water was needed in their special case, over what IAAF expects for other athletes).
I am of the opinion that everybody got blindsided by Jaisha. Something was bothering her (who knows? an upset stomach? fever? general lack of confidence and nerves from problems with the coach?)... and she really wanted extra water at some point in the race. Maybe she let that bother her and mentally got ready to collapse once she finished (yes, that can happen!). She somehow found lack of water as the reason why she collapsed, which I do not believe even for a second. She has never collapsed in running marathons, I assume, and there could not have been Indian officials giving her extra water every 2.5 km or whatever in the past when she easily completed the marathons. The temperature conditions at Rio were certainly better than at other marathon she has run, too. Had she come close to this at any other marathon, or generally has a dehydration problem (because she sweats too much, for instance), I am sure she would have made sure that extra water over IAAF-mandated supply of water was available for her. I don't think she is stupid not to think of getting enough water, if that can be an issue.
Sill, I don't think she is necessarily lying. She is most probably puzzled about what happened to her and why she collapsed (or felt dehydrated) and then latched on to the easiest party to blame - the Indian officials. And she did that a whole 7 days later, maybe after even the doctors couldn't tell her why she collapsed (which is why I said it could've been a neurological issue). She then made herself believe vehemently that water was the problem. I'm of course assuming things, but that's my take on it. Anyway, I don't buy her side, at all!