Steeplechaser Sable seals Tokyo berth
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