Avinash Sable has qualified for 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the men's 3000m steeplechase event after he bettered his own national record with a timing of 8:21.37 mins in the finals at the World Athletics Championship in Doha tonight. The qualification mark for the Olympics was 8:22 mins and Sable qualified by bettering his previous national record of 8:25.23 mins. Earlier on Tuesday night, Sable became the first Indian track male athlete to reach World Athletics final. Sable had also become the third Indian to break his own national record and reach the finals of this edition's World Championship.
Sable had initially failed to qualify for the final as he was twice blocked by Ethiopian runner Takele Nigate in the heats. The IAAF decided to include Sable in the final as the 16th participant after they reviewed India's protest. Avinash had finished 7th in heat no 3 and 20th overall in the men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase clocking 8 minute 25.23 secs but a successful appeal by India put her in the finals bracket. After two incidents of obstruction leading to his fall took place during the race, Athletics Federation of India had quickly got into the act and lodged a protest with the organisers.
In both the incidents reigning junior world champion Takele Nigate of Ethiopia, who was running in front of him, tripped and fell which forced Avinash to finish 7th in the third heat. In the first incident, Sable had to jump over another competitor as four-five athletes at the rear fell over each other. Midway during the race, Nigate bumped into an obstacle just in front of Sable. The Indian had to virtually climb up the obstacle as he was blocked by the Ethiopian, thereby losing crucial time. Sable then made an impressive recovery towards the end but it was not enough for a place in the final on a track where he had won a silver in April in the Asian Championships with a time of 8:30.19.