August 21, 2023
NEW DELHI – It was a flop show by the nine Indian athletes in the fray including medal hopeful steeple
chaser Avinash Sable on the opening day of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Avinash finished seventh in his 3000m steeplechase heat and failed to progress into the final, while under-20 world championship silver medalist long jumper Shaili Singh, was placed 24th and crashed out.
India’s challenge in the triple jump also ended in the qualification round after the trio – Praveen Chithravel, Abdulla Aboobacker and Eldhouse Paul – could not make it to the top 12.
In the 20km race walk event, Vikash Singh finished the highest among the three Indians competing. He clocked 1:21:58 to finish 27th. Paramjeet Singh Bisht was 35th with 1:24:02 and Akashdeep Singh ended 47th and last with 1:31:12.
In the 1500m event, Ajay Kumar Saroj clocked a personal best time of 3:38.24 but failed to make the cut for the semi-finals. He finished 13th in heat 3 but only the top six from each of the four heats advanced to the next round.
National record holder in 3000m steeplechase with a mark of 8:11.20,Avinash Sable, clocked 8:22.24 to finish seventh in heat one. Only athletes finishing in the top five in the three heats advance to the final.
The 28-year-old Indian was among the top five in his heat for the majority of the race but tumbled at the final water hurdle to lose ground and couldn’t recover in time.
This is the first time that Avinash, making his third appearance in the World Championships, failed to make the final round at the marquee event.
The Commonwealth Games silver medalist, Avinash had finished 11th with a time of 8:31.75 in the final in Eugene, USA, in 2022. In his debut world championship appearance in Doha back in 2019, he finished 13th in the final race.
Before this meet. Avinash had finished sixth at the Silesia Diamond League meet in Poland with a season’s best time of 8:11.63 to meet the qualifying standards for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
In the women’s long jump qualification, Shaili Singh, with a best jump of 6.40m finished 24th overall, and failed to make the final round. She has a personal best of 6.76m.
The 19-year-old Shaili Singh, who has been training under Anju Bobby George, began the qualification with a jump of 6.26m and followed it with an effort of 6.40m and 6.30m to finish 14th among 18 competitors in Group B. Only the top 12 across both groups qualified for the medal round.
In the triple jump, Abdulla Aboobacker was the best finisher among the three Indians, finishing 15th overall with a best attempt of 16.61m. Praveen Chithravel had a best jump of 16.38m from his three attempts to finish 20th while Eldhose Paul’s effort of 15.59m saw him take 29th place.