Birmingham: Avinash Sable broke his own national record to win a silver in the men’s 3000m steeplechase while Priyanka Goswami also clinched a medal of the same hue in the women’s 10,000m race walk on a productive day for India in the Commonwealth Games athletics competition here on Saturday.
Goswami also scripted history as she became the first Indian woman to win a medal in race walk with a silver in the 10,000m event.
With the two silver, the Indian athletics team’s medal count swelled to four and it has already gone past the number in 2018 Gold Coast where the country had won a gold, silver, and bronze each in track and field.
High jumper Tejswin Shankar and long jumper Murali Sreeshankar had won a bronze and silver respectively in Birmingham.
The 27-year-old Sable clocked 8:11.20s to better his earlier national record of 8:12.48 and finish behind Kenyan Abraham Kibiwot (8:11.15). Another Kenyan Amos Serem took the bronze with a time of 8:16.83.
Kibiwot had finished fifth in the World Championships in Eugene, USA, last month with a time of 8:28.95s while Sable had ended a disappointing 11th, clocking 8:28.95s in the slowest ever 3000m steeplechase in the history of the showpiece.
With the silver, Sable made amends for his disappointing performance in the World Championships.
A farmer’s son from Mandwa village in Maharashtra’s Beed district, the Indian Armyman had the satisfaction of beating World Championships bronze medallist Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya who finished sixth here with a time of 8:34.96.
Sable, who has earlier served at the Siachen Glaciers before taking to athletics, has been on a national record breaking spree in recent times. He had clocked 8:12.48 when he finished fifth at the prestigious Diamond League Meeting in Rabat last month.
Goswami clocked a personal best time of 43:38.83s to finish second behind Jemima Montag (42:34.30) of Australia. Emily Wamusyi Ngii (43:50.86) of Kenya took the bronze.
The other Indian in the fray, Bhawna Jat finished eighth and last with a personal best time of 47:14.13.
Harminder Singh was the first Indian to win a medal in race walk — a bronze — in the 20km event in 2010 CWG in Delhi.
“This is the first Commonwealth Games medal in walking for an Indian woman so I’m really pleased to have created a piece of history,” Goswami said after the event.
“I wasn’t thinking about the Australian (gold medallist Jemima Montag), when you look at what we did at the Olympics in Tokyo and the world championships last month she is a better walker than me. I just concentrated on my own race and I hope to close the gap on her (in the future) step-by-step.” Asked about the mascots and fingernails she was having, Priyanka said, “I have a Lord Krishna and I take him with me to every competition and he brought me luck today.
“I have also painted my nails with the flags of the country where I compete so I have England for the Commonwealth Games, Japan for the Olympic Games, Spain because I raced there and some other flags as well.”