Olympics-bound Avinash Sable broke the national record while coming first among Indian elite runners at the Airtel Delhi Half-marathon on Sunday. He clocked 1:00:30 seconds while finishing the race ahead of his compatriots.
The 26-year old Sable qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the 3000m steeplechase at the World Athletics Championships in Doha last year. He broke his own record twice in Doha and four times in 2019. He made an improvement of a staggering eight and a half seconds during this time. The Olympic qualifying standard was 8:22.00 seconds. He breached the standards after finishing 13th in 3000m steeplechase with a timing of 8 minutes 21.37 seconds.
Sable also won a silver in 3000m steeplechase at the Asian Athletics Championships last year.
Avinash Sable becomes the first Indian to finish a half-marathon in less than 61 minutes
Avinash Sable on Sunday became the first Indian to finish a marathon in less than 61 minutes. His performance was so incredible that he finished way ahead of his fellow Indian runners Srinu Bugatha and Durga Bahadur Budha who finished second and third with timings of 1:04:16 seconds and 1:04:19 seconds respectively.
Sable, from Maharashtra, was 10th overall, with Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn winning the men’s elite race in 58:53 seconds. According to Athletics Federation of India (AFI) official records, the previous national half-marathon record stands at at 1:03:46 seconds in the name of Kalidas Hirave of Maharashtra.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju flagged off the race. “I’m very happy to see that Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was organized with proper health safety measures. Besides top international Marathon runners, India’s Avinash Sable set a new national record! Congratulations to all the winners and participants,” he tweeted later.
Sable also bettered the ADHM course record, among Indians, of 1:04:33 seconds which was in the name of Bugatha, who won gold last year. Sable had finished second in 2018, behind Abhishek Pal, with a time of 1:04:14 seconds. A farmer’s son from Mandwa village, Sable is also a havaldar in the Indian Army.