Monday, July, 15,2024

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Sable’s ‘will of steel’ brought India glory at CWG’ 22

New Delhi: Avinash Sable, who made history by claiming a silver medal in the 3,000m men’s steeplechase at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom, became the first non-Kenyan to win a medal since 1994 at the Games.

Brought up in penury, Avinash ran when walking would suffice. He would carry out most of his activities, including covering a distance of six kilometre from his home to school, running.

Little did the Sables know their son’s everyday routine from younger days was gradually turning into baby steps to a career in athletics. “When I was a child, I had never thought I would become an athlete and win medals for the country. It’s destiny,” the 27-year-old would say.

Having taken to competitive sport after joining the Indian Army five years ago, Sable is a classic case of an athlete with a “will of steel” conquering lofty heights, despite hardships.

Born to a poor farmer’s family at Mandwa village in Maharashtra’s Beed district, Avinash’s very humble background also attracted the attention of his coach Amrish Kumar, who acted as the fulcrum around which Sable started achieving success.

“For me, the background of the athlete is very important. Those who come from humble families have faced the worst situations in life. It hardens them and makes them battle-ready. They are not afraid of adversity and want to work hard,” said Kumar.

Avinash tested positive for COVID-19 three months before the Tokyo Olympics. He still broke his own national record in Tokyo, but that was only good enough for a seventh place finish in his heat.

The result shattered him and he gave up training for a while. But, he put his act together after the World Championships (where he finished 11th) and bagged a medal at the Birmingham Games. PTI

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