Jaisha refused personalised drinks: Coach

The controversy stoked by marathon runner OP Jaisha took an interesting turn on Thursday, when her personal coach Nikolai Snesarev asserted that she herself had said no when asked by him if she would need personalised refreshment during the race at the Rio Olympics.

By (PTI)
  • Published 26.08.16
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New Delhi: The controversy stoked by marathon runner OP Jaisha took an interesting turn on Thursday, when her personal coach Nikolai Snesarev asserted that she herself had said no when asked by him if she would need personalised refreshment during the race at the Rio Olympics.

Belarusian Snesarev said he had told the Indian athletics officials after "clarifying" from her that she will not need personalised refreshment during the race.

National record holder Jaisha had alleged that Athletics Federation of India (AFI) officials did not arrange for water and energy drinks during the race under scorching heat and due to which she nearly died while running, a claim denied by the AFI.

Nikolai said that Jaisha had never used personalised drinks during marathons. "A day before the race, Radhakrishnan Nair (deputy chief coach) asked me whether she (Jaisha) would need individual refreshment or drinks for the race. I asked Jaisha whether she will use personalised drinks or normal water provided by organisers. She said she will use normal water only. Then I told Nair that she will not need personalised refreshment and she would prefer pure water. That is it," Nikolai said from the SAI Centre in Bangalore, where he is currently based.

"Jaisha had never used personalised drinks during competitions from the beginning of her Olympics preparations and she had run with only normal water. She used only normal water provided by organisers during the World Championships in Beijing in August last year. The whole of 2016, Jaisha did not use personalised drinks during competitions," he added.

"But for clarity, as I wanted to clarify from Jaisha, I asked her whether she will need personalised drinks. She said she will only drink normal water provided by the Rio organisers," said the experienced coach.

Jaisha, who fainted at the finish line after completing the race in 89th position, had alleged that there was no water, recovery drinks and refreshment available for her and only once in 8km did she got water.

Latest reports said that the 33-year-old Kerala athlete, who won a silver medal in 1500m in the 2014 Asian Games, has put the blame on Nikolai, saying that he must have told the AFI officials that she will not need personalised refreshment.