Avinash Sable shatters national record, reaches 3000m steeplechase final

Avinash Sable set a new national record and qualified for the men's 3000m steeplechase final in dramatic circumstances at the World Athletics Championships.

India's Avinash Sable in action in the men's 3000m steeplechase event at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha on Tuesday.   -  Reuters

Avinash Sable clocked a new national record and was handed a place in the men's 3000m steeplechase final amid dramatic circumstances at the at the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 in Doha, on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old registered a record timing of 8:25:23, which is over three seconds faster than his previous best of 8:28.94 that he had set at the Federation Cup in March.

But his seventh place finish in the heats and 20th position overall did not fetch him a place in the final as only the top three in each of the three heats and the next six fastest progressed. However, it was seen that Avinash fell twice after being obstructed by Ethiopia's Takele Nigate, and following a protest from the Athletics Federation of Indian (AFI), he was awarded a spot in the final.

“We filed an appeal and we have got a favourable decision. So, Avinash will be in the final, he has been included among the finalists,” AFI Planning Commission Chairman Lalit Bhanot told PTI.

The IAAF confirmed Avinash’s qualification for the final by including him among the finalists in the official results. There was no change in his position, but he has been added as the 16th competitor for Friday's final.

 

It was a terrific run from the Asian Championships silver medallist as he fell twice, once at the very start and once again at the midway mark at a water jump barrier, but did remarkably well to recover and complete the race in a national record timing.

Both the incidents were triggered by reigning junior world champion Nigate. In the first, he had to jump over another competitor as four-five athletes at the rear fell over each other and then midway during the race, Nigate bumped into an obstacle just in front of the Indian. Avinash had to virtually climb up the obstacle as he was blocked by the Ethiopian, thereby losing crucial time.

Despite slowing down due to the two incidents, Avinash ran a strong race to shatter his own national record and subsequently earned himself a spot in the final.

(With inputs from PTI)