India’s top middle distance runner Avinash Sable on Friday broke the country’s long-standing men’s 5000 m national record at a meet in the United States, as per Sports Authority of India.

The 27-year-old clocked 13:25.65 minutes to break Bahadur Prasad’s 13:29.70 mark set in June 1992. It was one of three unbroken national records in Olympic events that had been held since before the 21st century – the others being Shivnath Singh record in the men’s marathon event (set in 1978) and PT Usha’s 400m hurdles record from the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Sable broke the record at the Sound Running Track, at a meet in San Juan Capistrano, in California, finishing 12th in the race.

Just last month, he had broken the Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championship meet record in Kozhikode, with a mark of 13:39.43 mins.

Incidentally, this isn’t the only time Sable had broken a long-standing national record. At the 2018 Open National Championship, he broke Gopal Saini’s men’s 3000m steeplechase record which had been set in 1981. He went on to participate at the Tokyo Olympics where he rewrote the steeplechase national record again, but agonisingly missing out on a place in the final due to being in a faster heat.

Sable had first made his mark with that record-breaking run, and then went on to improve the mark later, even winning silver at the 2019 Asian Championships.

In March, he set the new steeplechase mark at 8:16.21 at the Indian Grand Prix 2.

From the archive:

From Siachen to Worlds, soldier Avinash Sable completes incredible journey with national record