Marathoner O.P. Jaisha down with Swine Flu

Bengaluru: Olympian O P Jaisha, who returned from Rio with fever and body ache last week, has been hospitalised after she was tested positive for H1N1 (SwineFlu), two days after another athlete Sudha Singh was found to be suffering from the same disease.

The marathon runner trained with Sudha before travelling to Rio for the Olympics.

“Jaisha, who arrived in Bengaluru with fever and body ache, has been hospitalised at the Fortis hospital at Bannerghatta, as per the information I had received so far from SAI doctors,” Sports Authority of India Regional director Shyam Sunder told PTI here.

It was an “arduous task” for SAI authorities to convince her to get her blood samples tested at the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD).

Instead of heading straight to her native state Kerala, Jaisha stayed in Bengaluru and until Thursday, she was not physically available to the health and SAI officials, Sunder said.

“Finally, after she was located Thursday, the state health officials visited her and convinced her to get her blood samples tested,” he said.

The results of the samples, sent to RGICD on Thursday, was submitted on Friday, which tested positive for H1N1, Sunder said.

Jaisha had competed in the women’s marathon in Rio Olympics and fainted at the finish line after completing the race in 89th position.

In May, Sudha broke the national record in women’s 3000m steeplechase event to finish eighth in the second leg of the prestigious Diamond League Meet in Shanghai.

She had qualified for Rio Games during the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi in April, where she clocked nine minutes 26.55 seconds.

Earlier this week, Jaisha had stirred a controversy by alleging that there was no water, recovery drinks and refreshment available for her and only once in 8km did she get water.

The controversy took an interesting turn with her personal coach Nikolai Snesarev asserting that she herself had said no when asked by him if she would need personalised refreshment during the race in the Rio Olympics.

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

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had issued a detailed advisory to all the athletes and support staff in view of the Zika virus scare in Brazil. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus which can cause crippling birth defects and also affects neurological system.

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