Avinash Sable breaks 3000m steeplechase national record at Fed Cup

Avinash Sable faced little competition as he set a new national record enroute to his gold medal in the men's 3000m steeplechase at the Federation Cup.

Avinash Sable

Avinash Sable has already qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. (File Image)   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

Avinash Sable has made a habit of breaking his own records and setting new benchmarks. On Wednesday, the steeplechaser set yet another national record, his fifth in three years, while also breaching the Olympic qualification mark, also for the second time.

Sable clocked 8:20.20s, more than a second off his 2019 national mark. It started with breaking Gopal Saini’s long-standing mark in 2018 and since then, Sable has only gotten better.

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“I know I have to compete against myself and it is difficult but not impossible. I set a target before every event and train accordingly, depending on my fitness. Competing internationally helps because you get pushed to do better,” Sable admitted.

Even as Sable went around setting yet another national record, the men's 3000m steeplechase saw several injuries and the organisers running around to find emergency medical support.

While Haryana's Naveen Kumar Dagar slipped and fractured both his tibia and fibula on the left leg, Prince Raj Mishra of Sikkim twisted and dislocated his left ankle. Both accidents happened on turns on the track and while Naveen was being attended to by doctors and lifted into the ambulance, Prince kept writhing in pain for a while before one of the AFI officials brought in his own vehicle.

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Neeraj Chopra, meanwhile, bettered his own meet record by almost two metres with a best throw of 87.80m but fell short of a new national mark. With nothing at stake here, however, Chopra could afford to use the event as more of a tune-up on the road to Tokyo. It was still better than the Tokyo entry standard.

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The other big hope for Olympics, shot-putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor, could only manage a best throw of 20.58m, good enough to win the competition but way off the qualifying mark of 21.10m.

Men: 110m Hurdles: Veeramani P (TN, 14.57s), Srikanth Madhya CP (Kar, 14.85), Yashwant Kumar (AP, 15.01); 10000m: Abhishek Pal (UP, 29:47.49), Kartik Kumar (UP, 29:48.21), Arjun Kumar (UP, 29:49.46); 3000m Steeplechase: Avinash Sable (Mah, 8:20.20), Shankar Lal Swami (Har, 8:34.33), Rajkumar (Har, 8:49.96); High Jump: Sarvesh Kushare (Mah, 2.15m), Aadarsh Ram (TN, 2.10m), Geo Jos (Ker, 2.10m); Shot Put: Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Pun, 20.58m), Karanveer Singh (Pun, 18.98m), Devinder Singh (Pun, 18.04m); Javelin Throw: Neeraj Chopra (Har, 87.80m), Yashvir Singh (Har, 79.31m), Rohit Yadav (UP, 78.88m).

Women: 100m Hurdles: Kanimozhi C (TN, 13.63s), Agasara Nandini (Tel, 13.88), Nithya Ramraj (TN, 14.08); 3000m Steeplechase: Parul Chaudhary (UP, 10:01.06), Komal Jagdale (10:05.43), Chinta Yadav (UP, 10:36.45); Long Jump: Priyanka Kerketta (Jha, 6.10m), Rintu Mathew (Ker, 6.07m), Sherin A (TN, 6.07m).