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Steeplechase runner Avinash Sable aims for sub-8 minute time after smashing national record at Diamond League

The Diamond League is an annual elite athletics event that has been running since 2010. Athletes can compete by invitation only. Avinash Sable was the sole Indian participating in the competition in Rabat.

Steeplechase runner Avinash Sable aims for sub-8 minute time after smashing national record at Diamond League

Avinash Sable entered the 3000m steeplechase event in a top-quality field at the Rabat Diamond League last week and went above and beyond his expectations. Sable went on to smash the national record in the men’s 3000m steeplechase yet again after he finished fifth in the race at the Rabat Diamond League 2022 in Morocco on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Avinash Sable, in his maiden Diamond League appearance, clocked 8.12.48, bettering the national mark by well over three seconds. His previous best came at the Indian Grand Prix in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in March.

“It was just like competing in Olympics or the World Championships final. It was my first time competing in the Diamond League. We can definitely improve by competing in world-class events like this. I believe this is good preparation for me leading up to the World Championships,” Sable told the media during an interaction from Colorado Springs in the US on Friday (June 10).

The World Athletics Championships are set to take place in Oregon from July 15 to 22 where Sable will be competing in 3000m steeplechase event again.

After going from 8.30 minute time to 8.12 at the Diamond League, Sable believes that a sub-8 minute time is also achievable – which will be a first for an Indian. “In 2018, when I started competing in steeplechase I was doing 8.29-30 and never knew I could rise to 8.12 minute time. But now I feel that sub-8 minute is also achievable. I don’t think we are any less capable than foreign athletes,” Sable, who is an army man from drought-prone Beed region of Maharashtra, said.

“It is good that I am getting an opportunity to compete in a quality field like the Diamond League. In India when I am competing in steeplechase, I am usually running alone in the field. It is good that I get to learn how to run in a pack while clearing hurdles and also learn strategies of some of the other top runners,” he added.

The Diamond League is an annual elite athletics event that has been running since 2010. Athletes can compete by invitation only. Avinash Sable was the sole Indian participating in the competition in Rabat.

It’s the eighth time Avinash Sable broke the national record in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. He is currently training with coach Scott Simmons in Colorado Springs since April 15 this year along with the likes of Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Paul Chelimo.

“I was initially sent along to Colorado Springs since I was the only one who had US visa. In the past, others like Jinson Johnson have also been here but couldn’t acclimatize well due to the cold weather. I was also a little bit skeptical about the new training methods and totally new diet. That’s why the confidence was down earlier but all that has changed in the last few weeks,” Sable, who is managed by JSW Sports, said.

The Indian runner now wants to completely focus on 3000m steeplechase till the time he is improving in the event and performing at the world-class level.

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