Coach Nikolai Snesarev blamed for OP Jaisha's water fiasco at the Rio Olympics
The coach of Indian long distance runner OP Jaisha, Nikolai Snesarev has been blamed for the fiasco involving the runner at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Jaisha had earlier lodged a complaint of not being provided water during her marathon event in Rio. The Sports Ministry inquiry committee, who were investigating the incident, has put the blame on Nikolai.
The committee submitted a two-page report after probing the fiasco which accused Nikolai of disallowing personalised drinks for the marathon runner ahead of her event. The Indian officials had informed the coach about Jaisha’s requirement, but Nikolai did not budge.
As reported by News18, both Mr CK Valson, the team leader and Mr Rradhakrishnan, the deputy chief coach had inquired about the Jaisha’s requirements, but Nicolai had replied in the negative.
The report further added, "It cannot be conclusively determined whether Ms OP Jaisha was personally asked by the team management or her coach if she wanted personalised drink."
However, the inquiry committee has unanimously come to the conclusion that Jaisha did not personally request for any personalised drinks before the race. The athlete, who collapsed at the finish line due to dehydration and had to be rushed to a hospital, had earlier rued about the absence of personalised drinks hurt her chances.
The report further added, "Water as available to athletes, in general, was available to Ms OP Jaisha as well. Indian officials were not present at the booths where personalised drinks were kept, but this was because they did not have any request for personalised drink for Ms OP Jaisha."
Athletes from other nations, who had requested for personalised drinks, did not face any problems. Since the coach is the primary person who should look after the athlete’s interests, Nikolai had to be more aware of Jaisha’s needs.
"Ms Jaisha's coach, Mr Nikolai should have been more careful in anticipating the requirements of Ms Jaisha during the marathon and projecting the same to the organisers. He also could have given the required advice/guidance to Ms Jaisha," the report continued.
To avoid such fiascos in the future the committee has recommended that the athlete should submit a written consent prior to the start of the event.
"In future marathon races, the decision of the athlete whether he/she will require any personalised drink may be taken in writing so that there is no ambiguity about it," the report said.
"Athletes should be briefed in detail about the rules of the competitions, their entitlements, and facilities which would be available to them during the competitions including marathon. Marathoners should be briefed about the details of the route and the facilities available along the route," it concluded.