Avinash Sable seals Olympics berth, sets new national record at IAAF World Athletics Championships

Avinash Sable sealed his berth at the 2020 Olympics by clocking a national record timing of 8:21:37s in the 3000m steeplechase final on Saturday.

A national-record shattering timing in the 3000m steeplechase final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships saw Avinash Sable earn his spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.   -  Reuters

India's Avinash Sable sealed his berth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by clocking a national record timing of 8:21:37 in the men's 3000m steeplechase final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 on Saturday.

The Olympic qualification mark had been set at 8:22:00 and the 25-year-old managed to qualify for the Olympics with a record timing, his second national record in three days, which was 0.63s quicker than the alloted mark. He also bettered his own national record of 8:25.23 which he clocked on Tuesday during the first round heats.

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Avinash started slowly and remained at the back of pack for a majority of the race. The difference in class with the medal winners was evident as he finished far behind at 13th spot out of 15 who completed the race, but it was enough for him to claim his berth at the 2020 Olympics.

Reigning Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya took the crown with a timing of 8:01.35, nearly 20 seconds faster than Avinash, while Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma (8:01.36) and Morocco's Soufiane Bakkali (8:03.76) took the silver and bronze respectively.

Here's how the 3000m steeplechase final played out. (Source: IAAF Website)

 

The 25-year-old from Mandwa in Maharashtra had made it to Friday’s finals in dramatic circumstances after he initially failed to make the cut in the heat races on Tuesday.

He was later included among the men’s 3000m steeplechase finalists after the Athletics Federation of India successfully protested that he was obstructed by other athletes during the heat race.

The race referee, after examining video footages, agreed that Avinash was significantly obstructed on two occasions. India’s protest was accepted and under Rule 163.2 (Obstruction), and Avinash was included for the final.

Later in the day, KT Irfan and Devender Singh finished 26th and 35th respectively in the men's 20km race walk. Japan's Toshikazu Yamanishi took the gold with a timing of 1:26:34, while Vasiliy Mizinov and Perseau Karlstrom took silver and bronze respectively.

(With inputs from PTI)