India’s Avinash Sable qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in men’s 3,000m steeplechase event, setting a new national record for the second time in three days at the World Athletics Championship in Doha on Friday night.
Sable finished 13th in the final race clocking 8-minute 21.37 seconds to finish the race inside the Olympics qualifying standard of 8:22.00.
He bettered his own national record of 8:25.23 which he set on Tuesday during the first round heats.
But the difference in class with the medal winners was evident as he finished far behind at 13th spot out of 15 who completed the race.
Reigning Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya defended his 2017 title with a time of 8:01.35, more than 20 seconds faster than Avinash, while Lamecha Girma (8:01.36) of Ethiopia and Soufiane Bakkali (8:03.76) of Morocco took the silver and bronze respectively.
The 25-year-old from Mandwa in Maharashtra had made it to Friday’s finals in dramatic circumstances after he initially failed to make the cut in the heat races on Tuesday.
He was later included among the men’s 3000m steeplechase finalists after the Athletics Federation of India successfully protested that he was obstructed by other athletes during the heat race.
The race referee, after examining video footages, agreed that Avinash was significantly obstructed on two occasions. India’s protest was accepted and under Rule 163.2 (Obstruction), and Avinash was included for the final.