Avinash Sable broke the national 3000m steeplechase record eight times since making it his own in 2018
- Last Updated: June 10, 2022, 13:57 IST
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Avinash Sable is not a household name in India but he is a national treasure. The 27-year-old soldier from the Mahar regiment, comes from a humble family based out of Beed district of Maharashtra, shattered his own 3000m steeplechase national record for the eighth time earlier last week.
Sable finished fifth at the Diamond League Meet, which has participation by invitation only, and clocked 8:12.48 to shave off more than three seconds of his previous national record – 8:16.21, which he had managed at the Indian Grand Prix in Thiruvananthapuram back in March and 1 shopping 17 seconds better than the first time he broke the national record in 2018.
Avinash has a knack for breaking records and that too on the big stage. After running his 5,000m race at the Federation Cup in April, where he beat the second-placed runner by nearly nine seconds, he smashed Bahadur Prasad’s 30-year-old national record in only his second attempt at the discipline, at the Sound Running Track Meet
Avinash Sable is though happy with not only his performance but the chance to compete with the best in the world.
“It was just like competing in Olympics or the World Championships final. It was my first time competing in the Diamond League. We can definitely improve by competing in world-class events like this and I believe this is a good preparation for me leading up to the World Championships,” Sable said during a media interaction on Friday.
“It is good that I am getting an opportunity to compete in a quality field like the Diamond League. In India when I am competing in steeplechase, I am usually running alone in the field. It is good that I get to learn how to run in a pack while clearing hurdles and also learn strategies of some of the other top runners,” he added.
He is currently back at Colorado Springs in the United States from Rabat, where he was for the Diamond League meet. The Sports ministry had to step in and with the the help of the Indian Embassy in US helped him get the Moroccan visa.
Sable recalled how it was a difficult time for him initially to be all alone in the US and how he turned it around.
“I was initially sent along to Colorado Springs since I was the only one who had US visa. In the past, others like Jinson Johnson have also been here but couldn’t acclimatize well due to the cold weather. I was also a little bit skeptical about the new training methods and totally new diet. That’s why the confidence was down earlier but all that has changed in the last few weeks,” Sable said.
Sable’s next target though is breaking the 8-minute mark, having bettered his own record time from 8:30 to 8:12, at the upcoming World Athletics Championships, which will be held in Oregon from July 15 to 22.
“In 2018, when I started competing in steeplechase I was doing 8.29-30 and never knew I could rise to 8.12 minute time. But now I feel that sub-8 minute is also achievable. I don’t think we are any less capable than foreign athletes,” Sable said.