Ram Singh Yadav qualifies for London Games

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Ram Singh Yadav
Mumbai, Jan 15 : After missing the bus for the Beijing Olympics by three seconds, long distance runner Ram Singh Yadav achieved the qualifying mark set for this year's London Games by dipping more than a minute under the B standard in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon here today.

The UP-born Army runner timed 2 hours, 16 minutes and 59 seconds, well under the 2:18 B standard qualifying time set for the 2012 Olympics while coming first among the Indian men competitors, and 12th overall, in the 42-km race won by Kenya's 29-year-old, 5-foot, 9-inch tall Laban Moiben in 2:10:68.

Yadav, who belongs to the Army Sports Institute in Pune, had clocked 2:18:23 in January, 2008 when the qualifying time for that year's Beijing Games was 2:18:20.

He had finished a lowly 15th in 2:39:23 at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. An emotional Yadav told reporters after becoming the top Indian finisher in the event that he was very hurt four years ago following the lack of support he received from all concerned, especially the Athletics Federation of India.

"I have been striving to make the Olympic berth since 2004. I was very hurt in 2008 when I was not supported enough when I missed by just three seconds to qualify (for Beijing Olympics). I am not running for my country any more but for my family only," said Yadav. Army Sports Institute's Col Bishnoi said that Yadav had been fully supported by the institution but was referring to the fact that he was not sent overseas to try and qualify after having missed the bus four years ago. "Some of the overseas marathons are easier to run and qualify. From our side we will be sending Elam Singh (who clocked 2:18:27 to finish second among Indians and 15th overall) as well as Yadav to the London Marathon in April where they would be bunched with 2:16 runners and get good competition," he said.

PTI 

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