Avinash Sable, national record holder in the men’s 3,000m steeplechaser who has qualified for this year’s Olympic Games, will train under Belarusian Nikolai Snesarev, a middle and long distance expert, from next month.
The 26-year-old from Indian Army had clocked 8 minutes 21.37 seconds at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships to better the Tokyo Olympic qualification time of 8 minutes 22 seconds.
The Maharashtra runner will train at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre in Bengaluru.
Sable had been training under Army coach Amrish Kumar for four years. But in January last year, Sable went to Morocco to train with distance coach Rizqi Boubker whose base camp is near Rabat in that country. But he had to return after four weeks of training as his visa wasn’t extended.
The 72-year-old Belarusian expert, who has been appointed till this September to prepare the leading runners for the rescheduled Olympic Games starting on July 23, reached Bengaluru on Thursday and will follow seven days quarantine rule before joining the national camp.
This is Snesarev’s third stint with the national team. He had earlier quit the national camp in February 2019 as many athletes, including Uttar Pradesh’s Asian Games medallist Sudha Singh opted to train under an Indian coach. Sudha is currently training in Bengaluru with national middle and long distance coach Surinder Singh.
Snesarev was first appointed in 2005. He has been associated with several top Indian athletes like the 2010 Asian Games 10,000m champion Preeja Sreedharan and Lalita Babar, who finished a creditable 10th in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase final during 2016 Rio Olympic Games.