Steeplecha­ser Sable seals Tokyo berth

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - [email protected] times­

Steeplecha­ser Av­inash Sable, 24, made his maiden World Cham­pi­onships par­tic­i­pa­tion a mem­o­rable one by qual­i­fy­ing for the Tokyo 2020 Games on Fri­day. The Ma­ha­rash­tra ath­lete ran 8:21.37 mins to achieve the Tokyo qual­i­fy­ing mark of 8:22.00 min­utes.

The armyman, who be­came the first male ath­lete to qual­ify for a track fi­nal at the Worlds, fin­ished 13th out of 15 par­tic­i­pants in the 3000m steeple­chase fi­nal at the Khal­ifa Sta­dium in Doha. In the process, he bet­tered his own Na­tional Record twice in four days.

It was the fourth oc­ca­sion in the last one year when Sable has cre­ated a new na­tional record. Last year, he broke Gopal Saini’s 37-year-old mark of 8:30.88 mins by clock­ing 8:29.80 mins.

In March, he clocked 8:28.84m. In the heats on Tues­day, he clocked 8:25.23 mins to bet­ter the record again. On Fri­day, he ran in 8:21.37mins to re­write the NR.

“I was a lit­tle down in con­fi­dence af­ter I got blocked in the heats. But I tried to gather my­self when my protest was ac­cepted and I was al­lowed to run in the fi­nal,” Av­inash told TOI from Doha.

A pro­gres­sion of .08s is com­mend­able in a track event, but his coach Am­r­ish Ku­mar Ad­hana felt the tim­ing could have been bet­ter.

Mean­while, In­dian women’s 4x400m re­lay team and men’s javelin thrower Shiv­pal failed to qual­ify for the fi­nals. The In­dian women’s 4x400m re­lay team fin­ished 11th over­all in the first round heats to crash out de­spite run­ning the sea­son’s best here on Satur­day.

The quar­tet of Jisna Mathew, MR Poovamma, VK Vis­maya and Venkate­san Subha clocked 3 min 29.42 sec­onds to fin­ish sixth out of eight teams in heat num­ber one.

GI­ANT LEAP: Av­inash Sable (in blue) in ac­tion dur­ing his event in Doha on Fri­day

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