There would be no clean sweep this time for Kenya at the Commonwealth Games in men’s 3000m steeplechase. Avinash Sable made sure of it. For the first time since 1994, a non-Kenyan would stand on the podium after the event. And Sable nearly got the top spot.

In he charged, every ounce of energy from his lean muscles being spent to push him forward, rooting for him to do the unthinkable. Eventually he fell short of the gold by just 500ths of a second, but not without giving Abraham Kibiwot – the winner – an almighty scare.

The last time a non-Kenyan won a medal at the event in 1994, the man from Mandwa had yet not been born. Yet here he was, creating history, and through replays of that race so readily available online, bringing a smile even months after the feat.

CWG 2022, Athletics: Avinash Sable-led track and field contingent shines in Neeraj Chopra’s absence

Birmingham 2022 was a CWG edition that had been in the headlines years before because the Indian Olympic Association threatening a boycott. Simply because shooting – a sport at which India medals heavily in at the CWG since no other powerhouse nation competes – had been removed from the roster.

Yet the athletics contingent – amidst some of the bigger names in their sport – prevailed and exceeded all expectations.

And Sable was right up there against the world’s best.