Avinash Sable is the new poster boy of athletics sports in India. The Beed-born track star from Maharashtra has outwitted a few champion runners in the 3000 metres steeplechase, an obstacle race run over seven and a half laps of 400m each. At the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, he startled a couple of Kenyans to win the silver medal in a new national record time of 8:11:2 seconds. A former Olympian who ran the quarter and metric mile, 5000 m race and the 3000m steeplechase, Eddie Sequeira (82) said: “Sable has the physique and he is good. If he can improve the speed between the hurdles, he has a good chance at the Paris Olympics in 2024. Steeplechase is not easy, I used to run it in the All India Steel Games. It’s tough. I am sure the coaches are working on his speed.” Sable prevented a Kenyan 1-2-3 sweep that had begun in Melbourne in 1998. Sable is a special track athlete: apart from creating a new national record in 2019, he won the silver in the Asian Athletics Championship. He became the first Indian steeplechaser to run at an Olympics in Tokyo 2020 and to reach the final of the World Athletics Championships at Oregon22 last month. “He has been remarkable so far”, said Sequeira.