Avinash Sable seeks to break own national record at Delhi Half Marathon
Commonwealth Games silver medallist Avinash Sable will look to break his own national record at the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon.
Olympian steeple-chaser Avinash Sable will look to break the national record that he set in the 2020 edition when he spearheads the elite Indian challenge in the men's category at the 17th Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Sable, who claimed the silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in August, had become the first Indian to complete the half marathon in under 61 minutes — finishing in a sensational 60:30 for the Indian crown and 10th place overall two years ago.
The Maharashtra runner will return to the venue of his heroics, hoping for a better outing. It was at the 2017 edition here that he came into prominence with a third-place finish. "I have been participating in this event since 2017 and I finished third among the Indians the first time I took part and then finished second in the following year," he said in a press release.
"I didn't even think that I would become an athlete when I took part then, but the experiences of taking part in the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon have helped me become a better athlete." "I will try to go faster than my previous best of 1 hour, 30 seconds. My aim will be to pace my run as per my strategy and my training. Definitely, I want to improve the timing I clocked here in 2020."
Challenging Sable for the top spot is Srinu Bugatha, who finished second in 2020 in the Indian elite category. He impressed with an 8th-place finish at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Dhaka Marathon.
Talking about Sunday's race, Srinu said, "My main event is the full marathon but I have always enjoyed the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon. Last time I clocked 1:04.16 in 2020 and my aim will be to improve this time."
The Indian elite winners in the men's and women's categories will take home Rs 350,000 each and the prize fund includes the top 10 finishers in both. There is also a bonus of Rs 100,000 for a new course record and a similar prize amount as the jackpot.
In the Indian elite women, all eyes will be on Sanjivani Jadhav, silver medalist in 2020. In good form after winning gold in 10,000m at the 2022 Federation Cup, she also finished first among Indian women in the TCS World 10K in Bengaluru earlier this year.
"I have been training well under my coach Vijendra Singh in Nashik and my aim will be to run faster than 1 hour 13 seconds," she said. Meanwhile, Priti Lamba, primarily a 3000 m steeplechaser, is looking forward to a good race.
"Although steeplechase is my main event, I have been participating in marathon events for a while now and I have the experience of participating in this," said Lamba, who finished 9th among Indians in the 2020 edition in a time of 1:20:48.
The Indian challenge will also feature seasoned runners such as Kartik Kumar, Lakshmanan G and Man Singh in the men's section and Monika Athare, Prajakta Godbole and Nandini Gupta in the women's field.