Avinash Sable wins silver in men’s 3000m steeplechase, 0.05 seconds short of gold at Commonwealth Games

Avinash Sable won silver in the men’s 3000m steeplechase on Saturday at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. He clocked 8:11.20 to take second – this is his personal best and also a national record. This is the ninth time Sable has rewritten the national record. He will make his Commonwealth Games debut. Sable was just 0.05 seconds short of the gold medal. This is the first time after six Commonwealth Games that a non-Kenyan athlete has achieved a podium finish at the event.

This is India’s fourth medal in athletics, after Tejaswin Shankar’s bronze in the high jump, Murali Sreeshankar’s silver in the long jump and Priyanka Goswami’s silver in the 10,000m race.

Abraham Kibiwot from Kenya won gold with a time of 8:11.15, while Amos Serum from Kenya was third with 8:16.83.

Sable finished 11th in the final of the men’s 3000m steeplechase at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Sable clocked 8:31.75, well below his season and personal best of 8:12.48, which is a national record.

He holds the national records in three separate events – 3000m steeplechase, 5000m and half marathon. In 2019, he became the first Indian men’s athlete to reach the final of a world championship and he also nearly made it to the final of the same event at the Tokyo Olympics.

Just six years ago, Sable had nothing to do with athletics. He had joined the army as a sepoy (private) in the 5 Mahar battalion. He had served in the icy wasteland of Siachen, the jungles of Sikkim, and the burning desert of Rajasthan before being selected by his superiors to participate in a unit competition. Since he ran his first race, his progression has been nothing short of lightning fast – he is arguably the best Indian track athlete.

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