New Delhi, 4 July: Commonwealth Games Silver medalist Avinash Sable clocked 8:21.88 to finish fifth in the 3000m steeplechase event at the Stockholm Diamond League last night
Competing at the rain-soaked Olympic Stadium, the Indian clocked four seconds slower than his only other Steeplechase race of the season in Rabat where he had finished 10th with a time of 8:17.18.
Reigning Olympic, world, and Diamond League champion, Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, won the event with 8:09.84 - a good 13 seconds short of his season’s best of 7.56.68 he logged at the Rabat leg.
Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale, the 2019 Diamond League champion, finished second with a timing of 8:12.27 to make it an identical 1-2 as Rabat. Wale’s countryman Abraham Sime timed his run at 8:16.82 to complete the top three.
New Zealand’s George Beamish, with a personal best of 8:17.63, finished just ahead of Sable. This was the Indian steeplechaser’s second top-five finish in the Diamond League. He had finished last year’s Rabat leg in fifth position as well, with a then national record-time of 8.12.48.
The Stockholm meet was the Indian army man’s second 3000m steeplechase race of the year. His fifth-place finish earned him four qualification points. His personal best of 8:11.20 is a national record in the 3000m steeplechase.
The competition in Stockholm was the seventh event of the Diamond League this season. The 2023 series will wrap up with the two-day final in Eugene, the USA on September 16 and 17.
Diamond League is a prestigious athletics series of 14 meetings from May to September in which male and female athletes compete in 16 disciplines.
However, the top three finishers do not receive any medals in these meetings. Instead, the top-eight athletes are awarded points and cash prizes according to their positions. In every discipline at every meeting, athletes are awarded 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 points for positions one to eight, respectively.
At the end of 13 meetings, the top six in the field events, top eight for 100m-800m and the top ten for 1500m and long-distance events will qualify for the final, which is a winner-takes-all competition.