Steeplechaser Avinash Sable to compete in Diamond League to prepare for Tokyo

Sable, who will make his Olympics debut in the 3000m steeplechase, may also train in Europe for the Tokyo Games.

By Rahul Venkat ·

Indian steeplechaser Avinash Sable aims to be in the best possible shape and competitive mindset for his Olympics debut in Tokyo by taking part in the prestigious Diamond League next year.

The Diamond League, a series of premier athletics competitions held throughout the year, had to cancel some of its events in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, World Athletics has announced a full season in 2021, comprising 32 track-and-field events, which includes the 3000m steeplechase. This is good news for the Indian athlete.

“Competing in the prestigious League will give a big boost to his confidence,” Sable’s coach Amrish Kumar told the Hindustan Times from Bengaluru, where they train. “Sable is running better than last year.”

The 26-year-old Sable enjoyed a stellar 2019. He broke the national 3000m steeplechase record twice in the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, the second of which earned him his maiden Olympic Games berth.

Moreover, Sable had been training intensely even during the national lockdown in India and had entered the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon last month to get into a competitive mindset. He broke the national half-marathon record to finish 10th in the event.

The 2021 Diamond League is scheduled to begin in May at Rabat, Morocco. Sable will possibly have seven events to test himself, but it remains to be seen how many he will take part in.

To aid his preparations, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is also planning to shift him to a training base in Belarus until the Olympics.

Practicing in Belarus will put Sable in proximity for the European leg of the Diamond League and other events in the continent, giving him the requisite exposure to maximise his chances at the Olympic Games.