Tokyo-bound Avinash Sable, Neeraj Chopra among records at Federation Cup

Avinash Sable broke the 3000m steeplechase national record while Neeraj Chopra set a new mark at the Federation Cup. Both have already qualified for the Olympics.

By Naveen Peter

Indian javelin ace Neeraj Chopra set a new meet record en route to his win at the 24th Federation Cup national athletics championships at the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala on Wednesday.

Indian international Avinash Sable, meanwhile, continued his domination in the 3000m steeplechase to retain his Federation Cup title in a record-breaking time. 

Both Neeraj and Avinash have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

Competing in an 18-member heavy field, Neeraj Chopra was class apart. The reigning Asian Games and Commonwealth Games champion managed a distance of 87.80 metres for the top prize. He bettered his previous mark of 85.94 metres set at the 2018 meet.

The gulf in class was quite evident as Haryana’s Yashvir Singh took the silver with a throw of 79.31 metres while Rohit Yadav of Uttar Pradesh won the bronze in 78.88 metres.

Neeraj Chopra was slow to start, with his first throw fetching just 79.41 metres. Though the Indian improved with 83.04 metres on his second attempt, it wasn’t until the final throw that he pulled off the big one.

The national record for the javelin stands at 88.07m, set by Neeraj Chopra at the third Indian Grand Prix earlier this month.

Avinash Sable set a new national record for his in the 3000m steeplechase. Photo: ADHM media
Picture by ADIMAZES PVT LTD

Avinash Sable, however, broke the national record in the 3000m steeplechase. The Maharashtra runner clocked 8:20.20 for the win, a minute over the previous best he had set at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Qatar.

It was the second time Sable breached the Olympic cut of 8:22.

Avinash Sable, who qualified for the Tokyo Games at the 2019 Worlds, had endured a difficult few weeks following the untimely demise of his coach Nikolai Snesarev.

But on Wednesday, the 26-year-old didn’t let emotions get the better of him as he broke away from the pack midway through the second lap and managed a healthy lead from there on to win the race.

Haryana’s Shankarlal Swami took the silver in 8:34.33 while his state-mate Rajkumar completed the podium in 8:49.96.

In the women’s event, the experienced Parul Chaudhary of Uttar Pradesh won the gold in 10:01.06 while Maharashtra’s Komal Chandrakant secured the second spot in 10:05.43. Chinta of UP won the bronze in 10:36.45

In the morning session, the Asian Games gold medallist Tajinderpal Singh Toor had no trouble in winning the shot put gold.

Representing Punjab, the 26-year-old managed a distance of 20.58 metres for his win. Punjab swept the podium with Karanveer Singh winning the silver with a throw of 18.98 metres while Devinder Singh took home the bronze with an attempt of 18.04 metres.