History on track: Sable wins India’s first-ever medal (silver) in men’s 3000m steeplechase, Priyanka clinches silver in race walk

Avinash Sable became India’s first male athlete to win a long distance medal in the Commonwealth Games with a silver in the 3000m steeplechase and Priyanka Goswami also achieved a first while finishing on the podium in a race walk event on Saturday.

Sable broke his own national record on his way to his silver while Goswami too clinched a medal of the same color in the women’s 10,000m race walk event on a productive day for India in the athletics competition.

Before Sable, Kavita Raut had won a long distance medal in CWG — a bronze in the women’s 10,000m race in the 2010 Delhi Games. With the two silver, the Indian athletics team’s medal count swelled to four, more than the number in 2018 Gold Coast where the country had won a gold, silver and bronze each in track and field.

High jumper Tejswin Shankar and long jumper Murali Sreeshankar had won a bronze and silver respectively in .

The 27-year-old Sable clocked 8:11.20s to better his earlier national record of 8:12.48 and finished behind Kenyan Abraham Kibiwot (8:11.15). Another Kenyan Amos Serem took the bronze with a time of 8:16.83. Kibiwot had finished fifth in the World Championships in Eugene, USA, last month with a time of 8:28.95s while Sable had ended a disappointing 11th, clocking 8:28.95s in the slowest ever 3000m steeplechase final in the history of the showpiece.

With the silver here, Sable made amends for his disappointing performance in the World Championships.

“My last lap was disappointing, but I am really happy because it has been a long (time) since India won a long distance medal,” Sable said after his event.

A farmer’s son from Mandwa village in Maharashtra’s Beed district, the Indian Armyman had the satisfaction of beating defending champion and 2016 Olympics champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, who finished sixth here with a time of 8:34.96. Kipruto also won a bronze in the World Championships last month.

Sable, who has earlier served at the Siachen Glaciers before taking to athletics, has been on a national record breaking spree in recent times. He had clocked 8:12.48 when he finished fifth at the prestigious Diamond League Meeting in Rabat, Morocco in June.

Goswami clocked a personal best time of 43:38.83s to finish second behind Jemima Montag (42:34.30) of Australia. Emily Wamusyi Ngii (43:50.86) of Kenya took the bronze.

The other Indian in the fray, Bhawna Jat finished eighth and last with a personal best time of 47:14.13. Harminder Singh was the first Indian to win a medal in race walk — a bronze — in the 20km event in 2010 CWG in Delhi.

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