Avinash Sable, who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, broke the national record of one minute 30 seconds in the Indian top runners in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday. He was far ahead of all Indians and finished 10th overall.
The 26-year-old Sable, who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 3000 steeplechases during the World Athletics Championships last year, became the first Indian to complete the half marathon in under 61 minutes.
Sable’s performance was so great that he was well ahead of his Indian rivals. Srinu Bugatha finished second, taking a time of 1:04:16 while Durga Bahadur Buddha finished third with a time of 1:04:19.
According to the official record of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), the former National Half Marathon Record was named after Kalidas Hiraway of Maharashtra with a time of 1:03:46. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju started the race, tweeting, ‘I am very happy to see that the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was conducted with proper health safeguards. Apart from the top international marathon runners, India’s Avinash Sable set a new national record. Congratulations to all the winners and contestants. ‘
Sable also improved the course record of the Indians in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, named after Bugatha, who took an hour, four minutes 33 seconds, having won the race in the Indians last year. Sable finished second behind Abhishek Pal in 2018.
Sable, the son of a farmer from Mandwa village in Maharashtra, took the Olympic qualifying standard time (8: 22.00 seconds) and finished 13th in the World Athletics Championship men’s 3000m steeplechase final in Doha last year with a time of eight minutes 21.37 seconds.