Sable, Parul, Chithravel set national records
The national records in men’s and women’s 5,000m as well as the men’s triple jump were bettered, at meets held in California and Havana
Three Indian track and field national records fell in a day, raising hopes for the country’s athletics in a busy season leading up to the Budapest world championships and the Huangzhou Asian Games as well as the Paris Olympics qualification.
Commonwealth Games 3,000m silver medallist Avinash Sable and Parul Chaudhary set new marks in the 5,000m while Praveen Chithravel broke the triple jump national mark. Both 5,000m marks were set at the Sound Running Track Festival, a World Athletics Continental Tour-Silver event, in California on Saturday evening while Chithravel was competing in Cuba.
The performances on the eve of World Athletics Day would warm the hearts of Indian athletics fans. It has been an impressive start to the season by Indian athletes with Olympic javelin champion Neeraj Chopra victorious at the Diamond League meet (88.67m) on Friday.
Sable improved upon his national 5,000m mark by clocking 13:19.30s. Sable, who has been doubling up in the longer event, last year broke the 30-year-old record of Bahadur Prasad with a timing of 13:25.65. He has now shaved off more than five seconds from his own best. Cooper Teare won the race clocking 13:12.73s. Sable will now move to Rabat, the capital of Morocco, to compete at the Diamond League meet on May 28.
Parul Chaudhary, 28, broke the 13-year-long record of Preeja Sreedharan, clocking 15:10.35s while finishing ninth. Josette Andrews won the race at 14:43.36s. Preeja had won gold and silver at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou in 10,000m and 5,000m respectively, setting national records in both -- 15:15.89s in 5,000m and 31:50.47s in 10,000m.
Parul, the Asian Championships 5,000m bronze medallist, ran her personal best in the 3,000m steeplechase (9:38.09s) at last year’s World Championships in Eugene, US, though she could not qualify for the final after finishing 12th in the heat.
“I am feel great that I have been able to break a record that has been intact for the last 13 years,” said Parul, who is a Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) trainee.
“I have been training in the US since April, and I would say it has benefitted me. Every day I set a new target and aim to achieve it. My next target is to qualify for the World Championships. I would be looking to improve on my performances this year,” she said.
Indian distance runners have been training at the altitude of Colorado Springs in the US. Coach Scott Simmons felt it has helped them better the records.
“The training has been going very well for the national team. Avinash and Parul’s records in the 5,000m predict well for upcoming steeplechase performances. The international training camps in Colorado Springs have been extremely beneficial in that regard. I think you will continue to see Indian distance runners improve towards world class level,” Simmons said.
Chithravel shines in Cuba
Praveen Chithravel’s national mark came at the Prueba de Confrontación meet in Havana, with a winning effort of 17.37m. The 21-year-old broke Renjith Maheswary’s record of 17.30m set in 2016. Indian triple jumpers have performed well since last year.
Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker won gold and silver at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Chithravel, whose previous best was 17.18m, came fourth there. He had a good start this year with 17.17m at the Indian Open Jumps meet at IIS, Bellary in March.
Chithravel's record will stand only after ratification by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). An AFI official said they are awaiting confirmation whether a dope test was conducted at the Havana meet.
“To ratify the record, we need a dope test after the competition. For Chithravel, we are awaiting confirmation whether it was done. In the case of Avinash and Parul, we have received information that their dope tests were done,” the official said.
Selva Prabhu Thirumaran, who won triple jump silver at the U-20 Worlds in Colombia last year, finished fourth with a personal best 16.59m.