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CWG: Sable reaches a milestone with silver run in 3000m

Avinash becomes India’s first male athlete to win a long-distance medal at Commonwealth Games
Avinash Sable wins silver as he crosses the finish line, behind Kenya’s Abraham Kibiwot by a whisker, in the men’s 3000m steeplechase final in Birmingham on Saturday.
Avinash Sable wins silver as he crosses the finish line, behind Kenya’s Abraham Kibiwot by a whisker, in the men’s 3000m steeplechase final in Birmingham on Saturday.
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Our Bureau, PTI   |   Birmingham   |   Published 07.08.22, 03:06 AM

Avinash Sable’s run on Saturday was not just about a medal, it was also about mettle. 

Sable became India’s first male athlete to win a long-distance medal at the Commonwealth Games with a silver in the 3000m steeplechase. But what was more noteworthy was the fact that though Sable was narrowly beaten to the gold by a Kenyan, he still managed to leave two other Kenyans behind as he crossed the finishing line.

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Kenya are a powerhouse in long-distance running and so Sable’s feat is not just a matter of pride, it also sows seeds of hope that in the near future, Indian athletes will give the best a tough competition in the biggest sporting arenas.

Sable, however, was not the only Indian with silver shine in track and field on Saturday. Priyanka Goswami also achieved a first while finishing on the podium in women’s 10,000m race walk.

With the two silver medals on Saturday, the Indian athletics team’s medal count swelled to four, more than the number in 2018 Gold Coast where the country had won a gold, a silver and a bronze each in track and field.High jumper Tejswin Shankar and long jumper Murali Sreeshankar have won a bronze and silver, respectively, in Birmingham.

Before Sable, Kavita Raut had won a long-distance medal at the Commonwealth Games — a bronze in the women’s 10,000m race at the 2010 Delhi Games.

Sable broke his own national record on way to his silver. The 27-year-old Sable clocked 8:11.20s to better his earlier national record of 8:12.48s and finish behind Kenyan Abraham Kibiwot (8:11.15s). Another Kenyan, Amos Serem, took the bronze with a time of 8:16.83s.

Kibiwot had finished fifth in the World Championships in Eugene, USA, last month with a time of 8:28.95s while Sable had ended a disappointing 11th, clocking 8:28.95s.

“My last lap was disappointing, but I am really happy because it is a long (time) since India won a long-distance medal,” Sable said later.

A farmer’s son from Mandwa village in Maharashtra’s Beed district, Sable, who is employed with the Indian Army, had the satisfaction of beating defending champion and 2016 Olympics gold medallist Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, who finished sixth here with a time of 8:34.96.

Sable has been on a national record-breaking spree in recent times. He had clocked 8:12.48s when he finished fifth at the prestigious Diamond League Meeting in Rabat, Morocco, in June.

Proud Priyanka

In the 10,000m race walk, Goswami clocked a personal best time of 43:38.83s to finish second behind Jemima Montag (42:34.30) of Australia. Emily Wamusyi Ngii (43:50.86) of Kenya took the bronze.

The other Indian in the fray, Bhawna Jat, finished eighth and last with a personal best time of 47:14.13s.

Harminder Singh was the first Indian to win a medal in race walk — a bronze — in the 20km event in the 2010 CWG  in Delhi.

“This is the first Commonwealth Games medal in walking for an Indian woman, so I’m really pleased to have created a piece of history,” Goswami, also a fashionista who aspires to be a designer of haute couture, said. “I love wearing fashionable dresses... I have painted my nails with the flags of the country where I compete, so I have England for the Commonwealth Games, Japan for the Olympic Games and Spain because I raced there...,” she said.

The women’s 4x 100m relay quartet of Dutee Chand, Hima Das, Srabani Nanda and Jyothi Yarraji qualified for the final after finishing second in Heat 1, and overall seventh, with a time of 44.45s.



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