The athlete is regarded as one of the finest of the sport in India.
Olympics-bound Avinash Sable is one of the finest steeplechase runners India has ever seen. The Maharashtra-born athlete holds the national record in the 3000 metres steeplechase event. He has performed sensationally in the last couple of years, breaking his own record several times.
He has already secured Tokyo Olympics qualification. Sable qualified for the quadrennial event through his fabulous display at the World Championships. He reached the final of the event which ensured his ticket to Tokyo 2020.
The Tokyo Olympics will be his biggest challenge yet and he looks ready to take the centre stage. Shifting focus towards his budding career, here are five things to know about Avinash Sable:
5. He is an army recruit
Avinash Sable is one of the many sportspersons who have established a career in sports after joining the army. He has served the country in the army since graduating from 12th grade. Sable served on the Siachen Glacier between 2013-2014 and also in Rajasthan’s northwestern deserts.
He found his calling after taking part in the inter-army cross-country race in 2015 and later switched to the steeplechase event. The long-distance runner has now set his sights on the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
4. Silver Medal at the Asian Championships
He qualified for the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships in Doha due to his record-breaking performance at the 2019 Federation Cup in Patiala. This was the first international event for the athlete.
Avinash Sable went on to win the silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase event. He clocked 8:30.19 to secure a podium finish.
3. National record holder
Avinash Sable is the current national record holder in the 3000m steeplechase event. Interestingly, he has broken the record five times and is aiming to break it the sixth time at the Summer Olympics.
He first broke the 37-year-old record held by Gopal Saini. He clocked 8:29.80 at the 2018 National Open Championships in Bhubaneswar, beating the previous best of 8:30.88. Avinash’s current best stands at 8:20.20, which he set during the National Federation Cup in 2021.
2. Winner of several prestigious events
Avinash Sable comes from a very humble background. He hails from Beed district in Maharashtra, which is a rough region with scorching heat. He was picked up for training for this very reason, since coming from this region would help him in long-distance running events. Sable has secured victories and podium finishes in several high-profile events.
The 26-year-old has won the National Open Championships in 2018 where he broke the national record in the steeplechase event. He improved on the national record during the 2019 Federation Cup in Patiala. The athlete later won silver at the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships. He also won the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon event after finishing first in the elite Indian men’s category.
1. First Indian to contest the World Championships final
Sable is slowly establishing himself as a powerhouse in the sport of steeplechase. He won silver at his debut international event, the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships. However, the Indian runner achieved a better feat later in 2019.
Thanks to his performance at the 2019 Federation Cup, he also qualified for the 2019 World Championships. Sable managed to better his own national record in the heats and became the first Indian to qualify for the final in the 3000m steeplechase event. The athlete further improved his personal best, clocking 8:21.37 in the final. This feat won him a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.