Avinash Sable breaks 3000m steeplechase national record for eighth time, finishes fifth in Diamond League meet

Avinash Sable. SAI

India's Avinash Sable finished fifth in the prestigious Diamond League Meet at Rabat (Morocco) and also in the process shattered his own 3000m steeplechase national record for the eighth time.

The 27-year-old army man from a humble family in the Beed district of Maharashtra clocked 8:12.48 in a high-quality field late on Sunday night to shave off more than three seconds than his own previous national record of 8:16.21, which he ran at the Indian Grand Prix in Thiruvananthapuram in March.

Local hero and Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Soufiane El Bakkali won the race in a meeting record and world lead of 7:58.28.

Ethiopia's Tokyo Olympics silver winner Lamecha Girma was second, clocking 7:59.24, with his compatriot Hailemariyam Tegegn took the third position in a personal best of 8:06.29.

The 2016 Rio Olympics champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya was fourth in 8:12.47, a one-hundreth of the second ahead of Sable.

Sable, however, finished ahead of Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Benjamin Kigen of Kenya who ended at eighth with 8:17.32.

Sable is known for breaking his own 3000m steeplechase national record multiple times. He first broke it in 2018 when he clocked 8:29.80 at the National Inter State championships to erase the then 37-year-old mark of 8:30.88 mark of Gopal Saini.

Last month, Sable smashed the 30-year-old men's 5000m national record at a meet in the USA, clocking 13 minutes and 25.65 seconds, bettering Bahadur Prasad's long-standing record of 13:29.70s set in Birmingham in 1992. It was only the second time he had run the 5000m distance competitively.