Rio Olympics 2016, Athletics: OP Jaisha and Kavita Raut put up a dismal show in Women's marathon event
India’s OP Jaisha and Kavita Raut just added another sorry day to India’s burgeoning list of disappointments at the Rio Olympics 2016. Both the Indians who were running in the Olympic marathon for the first time never threatened the top 10 even in the event that lasted almost two and a half hours. Jaisha had the better day out of the two athletes.
The African dominance in long distance running was once again on show as the pole position was taken by Kenya’s Jelagat Sumgong who ran the entire distance in 2 hours and 24 minutes. Following Sumgong was Bahrain’s Jepkirui Kirwa who took 9 seconds more than the Kenyan to cross the final line.
Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba, who had led the marathon for a major part had to settle for the Bronze as she took 16 seconds more than the Bahrain national to cross the finish line.
At the 10km mark, Jaisha was at 47th rank while Kavita Raut found herself lagging behind at 104th. It took Jaisha 35 minutes, roughly 13 more than the leader at that stage. Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba was the leader early on and it was only towards the later part of the marathon that she fell behind.
At the halfway mark, Jaisha dropped 12 places to be at 59th position among all the female athletes running alongside her. Raut reached the halfway mark six minutes after Jaisha and was at 123 and in no contention of anything close to a medal.
10km later, the Indian duo drifted even further towards the bottom half of the table as Jaisha was at 67th place. Things only got worse for the Indians as at the 35km mark, Jaisha had dropped to 81st position and Raut at an embarrassing 119th.
The race heated up in the end as all the three eventual medal winners looked in with a chance to clinch it. However, in the end, it was the Kenyan who has to her name victories in London, Rotterdam and Las Vegas Marathon, who edged out Bahrain’s Kirwa to the Gold medal.
The 33-year-old Jaisha became the 89th woman to finish the race, while Raut took half a minute less than three hours to finish the race at 120th position.