India’s Avinash Sable broke a 30-year-old record of Bahadur Prasad in 5000m, setting a new national record with a timing of 13:25.65 at the Sound Running Track meet in San Juan Capistrano, USA. The 27-year-old from Maharashtra broke the old record of 13:29.70 set by Bahadur Prasad in 1992.
Sable’s growth in athletics has been extraordinary. Till about seven years ago, he was posted as a havildar with the Army in Siachen. From the frigid cold, he was transferred to a small cantonment in the desert town of Lalgarh Jattan, near the Pakistan border in Rajasthan. The boy who walked 12 kilometres, to get to school and back, got his lucky break when he was selected to join a training group for a cross-country race organised by the Army.