Yadav blamed lack of practice as the reason for him pulling out of the event. The 32-year-old said that his practice was disrupted due to an Army Day function, where he was among the 13 London Olympians who were felicitated, held in the capital on January 15.
“I was practising for the Mumbai Marathon since November end and was looking forward to defending my title. This year there was no pressure on me to achieve any qualification mark, so I was relaxed.
In Delhi, I got busy with other activities and couldn’t concentrate much on my practice. After the felicitation, I wasn’t confident of my participation and pulled out of the event,” Yadav told MiD DAY from Varanasi.
When asked who will be the Indian winner in this edition in his absence, he said that last year’s runner-up Elam Singh could walk away with the prize money of Rs 4.5 lakhs.
“Everybody has practiced well. B C Tilak is running his first full marathon. Even Binning Lyngkhoi will be there. I feel Elam Singh could be the man to win in my absence,” he said.
Army coach KS Mathew had announced Yadav’s plan to pull out on the sidelines of a media interaction at Press Club yesterday. Mathew said, “Ram Singh was among the 13 London Olympians who were felicitated on January 15 in Delhi. He had been called 10 days earlier for the function and there was a disbalance in his training for the Mumbai Marathon.”