Avinash Sable vows to make amends for past mistakes, hopes for best Olympics

But the Paris Olympics could be his last shot at redemption on the global stage for Sable, who turns 30 in September. He will be nearing 34 at the next Olympics in the USA.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 10:22 IST

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Panchkula (Haryana): A reputed name at home but yet to prove himself as a top performer globally, 3000m steeplechase runner Avinash Sable wants to make amends for mistakes he has committed in the last few years and deliver a memorable show at the upcoming Paris Olympics with a different approach.

Having taken to running in 2015, Sable has broken national records almost at will in the past. He has also won a gold medal at the Asian Games in 2023 and a silver in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

But the Paris Olympics could be his last shot at redemption on the global stage for Sable, who turns 30 in September. He will be nearing 34 at the next Olympics in the USA.

"I committed mistakes in the last two years. I had gone with good fitness in the two world championships (2022 and 2023) but could not do well at both. I want to make amends, hope that this Olympics will be my best," Sable said.

Sable, who won the 3000m steeplechase gold at the National Inter-State Championships here while running as if he was in a practice session, has broken national records nine times.

But somehow, he has failed to shine at the global stage, except during the 2022 CWG where he broke the medal monopoly of the Kenyans by winning a silver.

He finished 11th in the 3000m steeplechase final in the 2022 World Championships in the USA and was eliminated in the preliminary round heats in the 2023 edition in Hungary. His best show in the prestigious five Diamond League Meeting series has been a fifth-place finish.

"I contracted COVID-19 twice before the Tokyo Olympics. Then, last year also I committed mistakes. Every year, I used to start my steeplechase running season very early in April or May. But when I wanted to check myself at the last minute, I found myself not being able to compete.

"This is why I am starting my competition season late this time. I am doing different this time. I will start peaking only this month. If I start peaking early, people (competitors) will take notice of me," said Sable who has a personal best of 8:11.20.

Before the National Inter-State, Sable ran just one 3000m steeplechase event -- at the Portland Track Festival on June 8 in the USA where he trains.

"I have come here after full training and so I decided to run here as a kind of repetition. In the first kilometre, I was just running along with others. In the last few laps I pushed a bit say 75 to 80 per cent of my full speed.

"In the Paris Diamond League on July 7, I may not go all out and peak there, but I will get a chance to test myself for the Olympics.

"After that I would want to do high altitude training in Europe and then join the team on July 25. So preparation has been very good." He said he was focussing on the last kick and he was able to test himself here during the race.

"Mid race is not difficult but last kick is important and necessary." Asked about the two 5000m and one 10000m races he had earlier this year, he said, "...my focus was not on those events. It was just for doing some competition."

On the 3000m steeplechase scene globally, he said, "The steeplechase field is quite good, there are Soufiane El Bakkali (of Morocco) and Lamecha Girma (of Ethiopia). But this year in the DL steeplechase runs, I haven't seen anything spectacular so far.

"It will be a technical race and I am ready for that. Let us see what happens."

Published 30 June 2024, 10:22 IST

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