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Mandwa’s Avinash Sable qualifies for Tokyo 2020

Other Sports   |   October 15, 2019


Steeplechaser Avinash Sable booked his berth on the flight to Tokyo with a time of 8:21.37 seconds in the finals of the 3000m Steeplechase at the IAAF World Championship in Doha, beating the Olympic qualifying mark of 8:22.00. His qualification comes as a surprise to many, as not much was expected of the 25-year-old at the World Championships, but the Mandwa-native shocked many with his incredible performance in the finals of the event.

Sable had initially not made the cut for the finals, but after an appeal from the Athletics Federation of India, the race referee assessed footage and determined that Sable was in fact obstructed by other athletes during the heat and was thereby allowed to participate in the finals. While he could only finish 13th, Sable had done enough not only to break his own personal best but also set a new national record in the event.

The 25-year-old’s rise in the sport has been dramatic. As a child, Sable ran six kilometres to-and-fro everyday to school owing to the lack of transport facilities in his village. The Mandwa-native rose from these tough circumstances and joined the Indian Army’s Mahar Regiment and served in Siachen and Sikkim from 2013 to 2015.

Impressed by his endurance, his fellow colleagues encouraged him to participate in cross-country running events and upon discovering Steeplechase, Sable decided to train and take up the sport professionally. Under the guidance of coach Amrish Kumar, Sable has improved tremendously over the past three years.

At the 2018 National Games, Sable finished first in the Steeplechase event with a time of 8:29.30, beating Gopal Saini’s national record of 8:30.88 that he set in 1981 in Tokyo. Sable’s qualification to the Olympics is just another chapter in his already incredible yet young career, and while he is not expected to challenge for medals in Toyko next year, his participation is in itself a huge accomplishment for Indian athletics.

Written by; Sportz Interactive

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