Vastavam web: Avinash Sable ended the 58th Open National Athletics Championships with a new national record, erasing the 37-year-old mark in the men’s 3000m steeplechase here on Friday. Sabale, representing Services, clocked 8:29.80 seconds at the Kalinga Stadium to go past the old mark of 8:30.88 seconds recorded by Gopal Saini in Tokyo in 1981.
Sable was far ahead of the rest of the field. The 24-year-old beat out Services teammate Rakesh Kumar Swami, who clocked a time of 8:47.31 seconds. Making it an all Services podium was Durga Bahadur Budha, who recorded a time of 8:48.29 seconds. Sanjit clocked a time of 21.30 seconds to finish well clear of Punjab’s Gurlal Singh, who clocked a time of 21.66 seconds. K Ashok of Services finished with a bronze medal after clocking an identical time of 21.66 seconds but was lost out on a silver medal by virtue of a photo finish.
Asian Games medallists Arpinder Singh and Dharun Ayyasamy lived up to their reputations, winning their respective events. Singh, who had become the first Indian triple jumper to claim a gold medal at the Asian Games where he won his event in Jakarta and then a bronze medal at the Continental Cup earlier this month, added the national gold to his kitty. ONGC athlete Singh was well short of his personal best of 17.17m but his best effort of 16.62m in his second jump of the competition was more than enough beat Arivu Selvam of Services and Navjot Singh of Punjab, who jumped 16.22m and 16.06m respectively.
In a fast-paced race, Ayyasamy beat Services runner MP Jabir, who also went under the old meet record with a time of 50.02 seconds. Railways’ Jashanjot Singh claimed the bronze medal after clocking 50.25 seconds. Last year’s winner and the meet record holder Santhosh Kumar finished outside the podium after finishing fourth with 50.53 seconds. The women’s 400m hurdles was won by Railways athlete Anju Rani who clocked 57.63 seconds. She was followed closely by another Railways athlete Arpitha who recorded 58.34 seconds. Punjab’s Veerpal Kaur took the third step of the podium with 58.36 seconds.