| New Delhi: Marathoner Ram Singh Yadav, who has qualified for the Olympics, today said that his morale was down after Athletics Federation of India asked him to prove his fitness by running a trial race in Bangalore before going to London Games.
Yadav, among 14 track and field athletes to qualify for London Olympics, has been asked by the AFI to prove his fitness by running a 10,000km race at Bangalore SAI Centre as he has not taken part in any competition since January.
The Army runner said that he has no injury issues and he was taken by surprise that he would be asked to prove his fitness as he was training hard at Ooty after qualifying for London Olympics at the Mumbai Marathon in January by crossing the `B` qualification standard.
"I don`t know what`s happening. My coach (K S Mathew ) got the call from AFI today that I should prove my fitness by running in Bangalore. I am fit and have no injury. I was not expecting this and my morale is down now. I have been having high altitude training at Ooty after qualifying for London in Mumbai. I don`t know why I should prove my fitness now," he told PTI from Ooty.
Yadav said he would prefer to run at Ooty to prove his fitness as going to Bangalore will disrupt his training schedule.
"I will ask my coach to talk to AFI officials to do the fitness trial run here at Ooty. Going to Bangalore will break my training schedule as there will be three-four days` break. I am setting time targets for the Olympics and my training will go haywire," Yadav said.
"If AFI insists on running in Bangalore only I have to go there. What can I do? They (AFI) have not supported me when I wanted to qualify for Beijing Olympics and now this is happening," he rued.
Asked if the AFI directive could be the result of talking against it when he qualified for the London Olympics in Mumbai Marathon in January, he said, "I don`t think it was the result of that. But I am confused what to do now."
Yadav had said after qualifying in Mumbai that he was running for his family and Army and not for others.
He missed out on 2008 Olympics by just three seconds at the same Mumbai Marathon four years ago and had apparently wanted to run in races abroad to qualify for the Beijing Games but, according to him, the AFI did not help him out.
Coach Mathew said that he would request the AFI to hold the trial race in Ooty. Otherwise, he would ask the federation to hold it after July 20.
"It will be difficult for us to just go to Bangalore and have trial run there. The federation official told me to do the fitness of 10k run at Bangalore SAI Centre and decide on the date by this evening," he said.
"But I would request the AFI to hold the trial run here at Ooty. If we have to do it in Bangalore, we want to do it after July 20," Mathew added.
First Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 20:12