CWG 2022: Avinash Sable wins steeplechase silver, just 0.05 seconds short of gold

Avinash Sable poses with his silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Avinash Mukund Sable etched his name in the annals of Indian athletics history by winning the silver medal in the men's 3000m steeplechase at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Saturday. The Indian finished just 0.05 seconds short of the gold medal, breaking his own national record in the process.

Sable, India's most consistent track athlete in recent times, clocked a personal best of 8:11.20s to finish second to Kenya's Abraham Kibiwot, who ran an 8:11:15s. Sable shaved off nearly a second from his earlier personal best of 8:12.48s.

Sable's timing is also a new national record. This is the ninth time Sable has re-written the national record. The 26-year-old is making his debut at the Commonwealth Games.

The Armyman has been training in the USA for the better part of the year and has been in terrific shape. He finished 11th in the final of the men's 3000m steeplechase event at the World Championships in Eugene, last month. It was among Sable's slowest races, he clocked a modest timing of 8:31.75s.

The 27-year-old from Beed district of Maharashtra had finished fifth in the Diamond League Meet in Rabat (Morocco) and had broken his 3000m steeplechase national record for the eighth time with a timing of 8:12.48s.Sable had won silver at the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships.

Hailing from the village of Mandwa in Maharashtra's Beed district, Sable has become one of India's best runners over the course of the last four years. Growing up in a family of farmers, Sable never had the ambition of becoming an athlete. He wanted to be in the Army, and he joined the force after finishing class 12.

Posted as part of the 5th battalion of the Mahar regiment, Sable served and fought in the extreme conditions of the Siachen glacier. Wanting to take a break from the rigorous nature of his duty as a soldier, Sable started to take an interest in sports. It was only in 2015 that Sable joined the Army's athletics programme as cross-country runner. His natural talent was spotted by coaches and within a year, Sable helped Services finish first in the team competition and he finished fifth in the 2017 National Cross-Country Championships.