Sable breaks 37-year-old national record

The 24-year-old armyman gave a commanding performance to set the new mark of 8:29.80 and became the first Indian to do a sub-8:30.

Avinash Sable of Services in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase final round in the 58th National Open Athletics Championship in Bhubaneswar on Friday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout


Avinash Sable erased Gopal Saini's 37-year-old national record to retain the men's 3,000m steeplechase title in style on the concluding day of the National Open athletics championships at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.

The 24-year-old armyman gave a commanding performance to set the new mark of 8:29.80 and became the first Indian to do a sub-8:30. Saini had clocked 8:30.88 in the Asian athletics championships in Tokyo way back in 1981.

It was a story of fightback for Sable, who was troubled by a fractured left ankle in April. He recovered to compete in the national inter-state meet in Guwahati in June, but managed only 8:49.25 to get the fourth place.

However, Sable worked harder to clock 8:41.00 in the inter-services meet in Bangalore a week ago before cutting it down drastically. Sable's previous best was 8: 39.81, achieved in the same competition on the same day in Chennai last year.

A confident Sable, who is employed as a sepoy, dashed ahead early and secured the lead after the first lap. He maintained the lead till the end to beat his nearest rival by more than 17 seconds.

“I was disappointed to miss out on an Asian Games berth, but worked towards rewriting the national record. The inter-services meet was a good warm-up exposure before this,” said Sable, being trained by Amrish Kumar.

Despite the lack of training, current Asian Games medallist Ayyasamy Dharun, who took the lead after the last hurdle, timed 49.67 to break the meet record in men's 400m hurdles. The old record of 50.16 was in the name of his fellow competitor T. Santhosh Kumar, who took the fourth place with 50.53.

“After the Asian Games, I didn't train for about 25 days. So I am happy to have recorded a sub-50 timing,” said Dharun.

Jaibir M.P. went lower than Santhosh's previous record by clocking 50.02. He finished second.

Asian Games gold medallist Arpinder Singh gathered the men's triple jump gold medal effortlessly. Arpinder settled the issue with three 16-plus jumps of which his second attempt of 16.62 was the best.

The results (Finals)


200m: 1. Sanjeet (Ser) 21.30, 2. Gurlal Singh (Pun) 21.66, 3. K. Ashok (Ser) 21.66; 800m: 1. M. Afsal P. (Ser) 1:5450, 2. Vishamber Kolekar (Rlys) 1:55.03, 3. Beant Singh (Rlys) 1:55.36; 400m hurdles: 1. Ayyasamy Dharun (ONGC) 49.67 (NMR, Old T. Santhosh Kumar, 50.16, 2017), 2. Jaibir M.P. (Ser) 50.02, 3. Jashanjot Singh (Rlys) 50.25. Triple jump: 1. Arpinder Singh (ONGC) 16.62m, 2. Arivu Selvam D. (Ser) 16.22m, 3. Navjot Singh (Pun) 16.06m; Javelin: 1. Abhishek Singh (Ser) 76.42m, 2. Vipin Kasana (UP) 76.05m, 3. Sahil Silwal (Har) 75.38m; 3000 Steeplechase: 1. Avinash Sable (Ser) 8:29.80 (NR, Old Gopal Saini, 8:30.88, 1981), 2. Rakesh Kumar Swami (Ser) 8:47.31, 3. Durga Bahadur Budha (Ser) 8:48.29; 4x400m relay: 1. Services (Sajin V., Rahul Baby, Angrej Singh, Noah Nirmal Tom) 3:09.83, 2. Railways (Gaurav, Jashanjot Singh, R. Mohan Kumar, Ravinder) 3:10.39, 3. Manipur (Rahul Kumar, Ravindra Kumar, Eusup Ali, Jagan Sreekrishan) 3:11.11.


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