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Know your Indian Olympian: 10 things to know about OP Jaisha

Here's an athlete profile of marathon runner OP Jaisha.

OP Jaisha

In a decade-long career that began in 2005, OP Jaisha has brought a lot of glory for India with her superb showing in several major events. The 32-year-old, who started out in the 1500m and 3000m before adding other events to her list, has consistently delivered on the big stage and remains a big medal hope for India at Rio 2016.

Here are 10 things to know about her: 

1.OP Jaisha was born on 23rd of May 1983 in Kerala, India.

2.An alumnus of Assumption College in Changanassery, she first burst into the limelight at the inaugural Asian Indoor Games in Bangkok in 2005 where she won the Gold in the 1500m and the 3000m race events.

3.Although the gold eluded her at the 2006 Indoor Asian Championships in Pattaya, Jaisha clinched the silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 3000m to provide further evidence of her potential.

4.Although she couldn't taste success at her maiden Commonwealth Games that very year in Melbourne, her first Asian Games proved to be fruitful as she won the bronze in the 5000m category at Doha in 2006.

5.Jaisha added another event to her list in 2008, taking up the steeplechase event and two years later, broke the National record at the 50th edition of the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Patiala with an effort of 10:03.56, thereby beating the previous mark of 10:09.56, that was set by Sudha Singh, that very year in Kochi.

6.The 2010 Commonwealth Games proved to be a disastrous outing for her as she finished 9th but a year later, she bounced back at the Asian Athletics Championships, by winning the bronze. 

7.At the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Jaisha won her second bronze medal and her first in the 1500m, clocking a timing of 4:13:46. 

8.After tasting success in the long-distance categories and in the steeplechase events, Jaisha participated in her maiden marathon last year, in Mumbai and created history in her first appearance, breaking the women’s national record by clocking a timing of 2:37.29, thereby going past Vally Satyabhama, who had set a time of 2:39.10 and also taking the first place in the process.

9.A month after her marathon debut, Jaisha put in yet another sterling effort, this time at the National Games in Kerala, with a timing of 15:31.37  to win Gold in the 5000m event in front of her home fans.

10.2015 brought her more success, when at the World Championships in Beijing, she finished 18th in the marathon and along with Sudha Singh, who finished 19th, made the cut to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Things that you may not know

1.Jaisha comes from an extremely poor background. At the age of five, her father was bed-ridden because of a bus accident, leaving no earning member in her family.

2. Because of her family’s dire state of living, there were days when she would regularly eat mud to survive. 

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