- Maharashtra born Avinash Sable sealed his a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth by finishing 13th in 3000m steeplechase race at the IAAF World Championships 2019.
- The time set for qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics was 8:22.00 which Avinash managed to beat in the nick of time.
- The runner also broke his own previous national record in the process.
Maharashtra born Avinash Sable sealed his spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The runner secured his participation at the Olympics after finishing 13th in the 3000m steeplechase race at the IAAF World Championships 2019 being conducted in Doha, Qatar. Even after finishing 13th, Sable managed to break his own national record which he had clocked during the qualifying round.
Kenyan Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto defended his 2017 World Championship title by clocking a time of 8:01.35, which was more than 20 seconds faster than Avinash. Lameecha Girma of Ethiopia secured the 2nd spot with a time of 8:01.36 while Moroccan runner Soufiane Bakkali (8:03.76) came third.
The Indian athlete qualified for the finals on Friday in an extraordinary fashion after initially failing to make the cut in the qualifying races on Tuesday.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) protested that Sable was obstructed by other athletes during the qualifiers. After examining video footages, the race referee concluded that Avinash was clearly obstructed on two occasions under Rule 163.2 (Obstruction) hence ensuring Avinash of a place in the Friday finals.
There was a clear difference in class in the final race of the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Sable remained in the back for a majority of the race finishing 13th out of 15 who completed the race. He managed to clock a time of 8:21:37 breaking his own previous national record (8:25.23) which he set on Tuesday during the heats.
The time set for qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics was 8:22.00 which Avinash managed to beat in the nick of time.
Soldier turned runner
Avinash Sable was born in Mandwa, Beed district of Maharashtra, in a family of farmers. He is a soldier of the 5 Mahar regiment in the Indian army and has seen some gruelling days in his life. Preparing for races might be a cakewalk for him since he has lived in extreme conditions, from being posted at Siachen glaciers to the hot deserts of Rajasthan to then being posted in Sikkim. After being insisted by his colleagues, Sable finally took part in the inter-army cross country running in 2015, hence beginning his journey for the Tokyo Olympics.