India’s Avinash Sable set a new national record in men’s 3000m steeplechase heats but could not manage to reach the final as the Tokyo Olympics athletics programme started on Friday.
Running the second heat, Sable, who hails from Beed district of Maharashtra, clocked 8 minutes, 18.12 seconds to finish seventh as the top three from the three heats and the next six fastest qualified for the final.
Sable, who used to run six kilometres a day to get to school as a child, improved on his own record of 8:29.18 set in Bhubaneswar in 2018. The 26-year-old Armyman has had clocked 8:21.37 in the Asian Championships in Doha in 2019 but that has not been ratified till now.
Sable completed the first 1000m in 2 minutes 46.5 seconds and the next one kilometre in 2:47.0 and the last 1000m in 2:44.7, thus improving upon his national record by a big margin. But, he was unfortunate to miss a spot in the final by just 0.81 seconds.