Indian long-distance runner Avinash Sable broke the national record in the men’s 3000m steeplechase for the eighth time as he finished fifth in the Diamond League 2022 event at Rabat in Morocco on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Sable was participating in his maiden Diamond League meet and clocked 8 minutes 12.48 seconds, bettering his own national mark by over three seconds. His previous best was 8:16:21 and came at the Indian Grand Prix 2 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in March this year.
The Diamond League is an annual elite athletics event that has been running since 2010 and Sable is the second Indian after Olympic gold medallist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra to participate in it in recent times. Athletes can compete only by invitation. Sable was the only Indian in action in Rabat, according to information reaching here on Monday.
Tokyo Olympics champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco won the race in 7:58.28. Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia, silver medallist at Tokyo 2020, was second (7:59.24). Ethiopia’s Hailemariyam Tegegn bagged the bronze medal.
Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist and reigning world champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya finished fourth, just 0.01 seconds ahead of Sable.
The 27-year-old Sable is currently preparing for this year’s World Championship to be held in Oregon, USA next month, and the Commonwealth Games (8:19.89), to be held in July-August in Birmingham, UK.
Sable, a silver medallist in the Asian Athletics Championship in 2019, has already achieved the qualifying standards for the world athletics championships (8:22.00) and the Commonwealth Games (8:19.89).
The runner from Beed, Maharashtra also broke the long-standing 5000m national record in the USA last month in only his second attempt.