Sable ends Kenyan steeplechase hegemony at CWG, wins silver medal

Three Kenyan runners set the pace for him as Avinash Sable bravely outpaced them, forcing them to turn back to see where he was on the track. Lately, Kenyans usually raise their necks to see whether the Ethiopians or the Moroccan, current world champion Sofiane El Bakkali, is on their shoulders. There were no bakali at the Commonwealth Games, but the Sable rocked the mighty Kenyans who are masters in steeplechase racing and hold bragging rights in the CWG.

Former world champion Conseslus Kipruto, compatriot Abraham Kibiwot, the 2018 CWG silver medalist, and Amos Syrim, the under-20 world champion, were aiming to win the Kenyan championship for the seventh consecutive time at the Commonwealth Games. Seeing three Kenyans as a team in a race and setting each other’s pace can blow the spirits of most competitors. But the sable, the drought-prone Beed army man who served in siachen, is made of tougher materials.

Less than a month after falling into the trap of waiting and watching in one of the slowest races ever in the World Championships, the Sable was even more daring on the track at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Unlike the world championships, there was no crowd on the track and Sable didn’t have to worry about getting into boxing. Here, it was he against the three Kenyans.

In Eugene, Kenya was deprived of gold; Today they missed a clean sweep due to a strong run and a great finish by the Indian. Sable continued to advance with the leading trio and for a short time they opened a small advance. However, India’s best middle-distance runner with three national records in three different events, was ready to hang out there and put up with his time.

It was a high-risk strategy but Sable developed a lot of stamina and eventually developed a quick kick in the 400m. He was determined to run a race that reflected his potential. With the 800m still cut off, Kipruto had given way to Syrem and Kipiwot and Sable moved to third. Soon, the sable overtook Serem and was blown away by Kibiwot’s heels.

Kibiwot, the gold medal winner was so worried about Sable overtaking him that he made a mistake when trying to overtake the last water jump. Serem made a last-ditch effort to overtake Sable to second but failed because the Indian finish kick was too strong, even for Kenny.

The sable did not fade along the house. He made Kibiwot stretch every muscle to the maximum to repel him. 8:11.15 and 8:11.20 is how they end up dipping a sable up in the line like a runner hoping to advance at the last minute. Syrim came in third with a time of 8:16.83.

It was the ninth national record for sable, but what matters today is the medal, and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in an event dominated by Kenya is no easy feat. India’s first ever medal in the event and a clean Kenyan campaign finish dating back more than two decades has made him win hearts across the world.

This race was in contrast to the slow pace in the world championship, which was won by Moroccan Bekkali with a time of 8:25.13. Al-Baqali and Lamesha Girma of Ethiopia were holding back but the others were not willing to take the risk and move on. Samour had set his previous national record in the Rabat Diamond League earlier this year, a very fast sprint in which El-Baqali had topped eight minutes. Sable loves fast races because he can make every effort and keep up with the leading group. In slow races, he’s still not sure when to push, especially against a world-class stadium, as we’ve seen at the World Championships.

The split time for the first 1,000m shows the difference in speed. In the world, the Sable covered the first third of the race in two minutes and fifty-nine seconds. Today it was two minutes and 40 seconds. In Rabat this was 2:42. Clearly, Sable was in a mood to take down the Kenyans. With 1,000m remaining on the road, it was clear that the national record was right around the corner. 2:44.4 and 2:43.4 is what Kibiwot and Sable scored respectively in the last 1,000 metres.

The silver medal will be compensation for Sable after he failed to make an impact at the Olympics and the World Championships. Shortly after the Tokyo Olympics, the sable was in the house. In Mandva, a village in the arid Beyd region, India’s best distance runner started working on a farm. He broke the national record in the 3000m hurdles again at the Summer Games. Sable says that not qualifying for the final was a disappointment he couldn’t overcome. At first, he did not want to travel to the Olympics, because after he tested positive for Covid, he was exhausted. His legs felt heavy as he trained. Brings Sable back to the pre- and post-Olympic days.

“After the Olympics, I stayed home. I did some farming. I couldn’t do well because I had Covid. I had a lot of weaknesses. I felt like I couldn’t even run 8:30 (8min 30sec). In one Sometimes I thought I would drop out of the Olympics but my master (the coaches) told me it was important to participate in the Olympics. If you had a chance, why not take it. I wasn’t sure I would do well at the Olympics. I was disappointed,” Sable said before the tournament. the scientist.

He hasn’t trained for about three months. Just going for a jog seemed like a daunting task. Sable’s family was worried about him turning into a recluse. “People at home used to ask why I became lonely. I used to be in the fields all day. I wanted to start training, but it took time,” Sable said.

By October, when the national camp began, the sable was bitten by a running bug again, although it took a while to make its stride. At the Indian Grand Prix in Thiruvananthapuram in March – his first race since the Olympics – he rewrote his national record again for the seventh time. It was humid during the race and yet the Sable beat the conditions to go faster than before. “At the Grand Prix when I ran 8:16 (8:16.21). I felt better. If I could run in Trivandrum in the humidity. I thought I could take the risk.”

The “danger” Sable talks about travels abroad halfway around the world to train with some of the most accomplished runners from around the world. “Maybe earlier if I had trained with these (foreign) athletes I would have had a better result in Tokyo,” says Sable. Now Sable has not only embraced “risk” by training in Colorado Springs, but has also adopted a training method aimed at making him fast in the last 400m of the 3000m hurdles. The cold climate near the Rocky Mountains did not deter him.

When distance coach Scott Simmons first met Sable in Bengaluru in March, the goal was to break the ice. He also wanted to ask Sable if he would be willing to reformulate his training program if he travels to Colorado Springs. “He looked ready,” Simmons said before the world championships.

Quick kick. The focus was on the quick kick in the last 400 metres. Some of the best players in the world can complete the final quarter mile in 53-54 seconds. Sable can be just as fast. “He can do 60 (seconds) at the finish, the last 400 metres. He’s even capable of 56 seconds. That means he’ll be very fast at overcoming obstacles as well, including water jumping. The key is to finish fast if he’s trying to get He’ll break the national record again, but he’s able to do more in terms of medal,” Simmons said.

“His speed is very exceptional,” says coach Simmons. “He is very strong too. He fell, got up and competed again. He has strong bones. In training he is disciplined.”

Last month in Rabat during the Diamond League, when the Sable broke the national record again, he set the 12th fastest in the world this year. Sable says that being part of the same race as some of the best helped him get where he stands. Unlike competitions in India where he usually leads from start to finish. “My first Diamond League (Rabat) was a great experience. I feel if I compete against the best player in the world, I will improve. You learn how the best sprinters slow down, how they decide to go fast in the race,” Sable said. “In India, I run on my own and go forward. But in the hurdles, there is always a crowd (on the track) and in international races, you can learn a lot.”

Sable thinks an 8-minute race of it is a possibility. If he gets on the nerves when competing against top athletes, Sable thinks of his days as a soldier in the army. It has been deployed in Siachen in very cold temperatures and also in very hot places such as Lalgarh Jatta.

“I only started running when I was in the army. So it helped me a lot. I can live in any kind of situation. Running (on the track) is easy. If you are doing the 5KM Combat Proficiency Test (BPT) in Army Training, you have to carry A weapon and there’s a bag on your back heavy too. That’s very easy.’ He said.

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