Avinash Sable (This photo was downloaded from the Facebook page of Athletics Federation of India [AFI]. It has been cropped for use here. No copyright infringement intended)

Avinash Sable set a new national record in the half marathon at the 2020 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM), held in the national capital on November 29. He clocked 1:00:30 to finish first among Indian elite runners.

According to the results posted on the event website, the overall winner of the race was Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn (58:53), followed by fellow countryman Andamlak Belihu (58:54) and Stephen Kissa of Uganda (58:56). The women’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw (1:04:46) followed by Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya (1:05:06) and Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia (1:05:21).

Sable, who topped the Indian elites category, is India’s best known athlete in the 3000m steeplechase. He holds the national record in the discipline and had put up a doughty display at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha; the latter performance saw him qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Among elite Indian men at ADHM, the second and third positions went to Srinu Bugatha (1:04:16) and Durga Bahadur Budha (1:04:19) respectively.

Parul Chaudhary finished first among elite Indian women; she covered the distance in 1:12:18. She was followed to the finish line by Sanjivani Jadhav (1:13:00) and Komal Jagadale (1:14:04).

The 2020 ADHM with physical race restricted to elites and amateurs participating via a virtual format they can execute at their respective locations, was the first such event to get off the ground in India since the onset of pandemic and lockdown earlier this year.

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.)  

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