Commonwealth Games silver medallist 3000m steeplechase runner Avinash Sable hopes to get over the World Championships disappointment and set a new national record en route to a gold medal in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
By his own admission, Sable is not satisfied with the season so far, which includes a disappointing seventh-place finish in the 3000m steeplechase heat at the World Championships in Budapest last month, thereby failing to qualify for the final.
But come the Asian Games, Sable feels he is in a good frame of mind to register his best result of the season.
"The Asian Games will be my season's last race. This year I didn't run any race for national record but I hope to clock my best timing in Hangzhou. I will be running for timing in Asian Games. The training I had, I hope to record my personal best and win the race," the long-distance runner said in a virtual media interaction.
In Hangzhou, besides 3000m steeplechase, his pet event, Sable will also compete in 5000m race.
"I am confident about steeplechase and my main aim is to win gold in that event but I am also focussing on 5,000 metres," he said.
While Sable will compete in 3000m steeplechase on October 1, his second event -- 5000m -- is on October 4.
"I haven't competed in two events much this year, I was only focussing on steeplechase. In Commonwealth Games, I participated in two events on the same day so I couldn't do well. I have been preparing for two events from March-April this year. I don't have that much experience in 5000m as I have in steeplechase but it's good that there are two days for recovery after steeplechase," he said.
"The decision to participate in two events in the Asian Games was taken after discussions with the coaching staff. Considering the standard in the Asian Games and with no qualifier, it's a bit easy."
Sable, however, admitted that it was tough to get his motivation back after the World Championships, where he made mistakes.
"My preparation for the last World Championships was good. I thought qualifying won't be tough because I was feeling 100 per cent in terms of my fitness. But I made a few mistakes. Sometimes the body doesn't react in tactical races. I don't think we lacked in pace.
"I fumbled in the last water jump. I feel I gave up the race early, I never left the race in the last 200m. I didn't give my best that day," he said.
"I learnt a lot from that race. When the race becomes slow, slow runners can also finish better. I learnt to give my best in the first race and then think about the final.
"My fitness was good so I though the race would be easy. I learnt that I need to race according to your strong points."
Sable said at that time his coaches fully backed him and together they worked on his flaws to prepare him for the Asian Games.
"After the World Championships, I thought the results were not coming despite being at the peak of my fitness. I was a little down because I had worked very hard but my coaches motivated me. We went to the US and prepared there for the Asian Games. I can't sit back and think about what has happened in the past," he said.
"My strong points became weak. My hurdles and water jumps were not good this year. But I have worked hard on my workout sessions, hurdles and technique, made a lot of changes in training methods and I am feeling confident all this will work in the Asian Games."
Sable also doesn't feel the weather will have an impact on his performance in Hangzhou.
"The weather in Hangzhou will be similar to Bengaluru, where I am training. The last three months in Colorado, US was pleasant till March after that it was hot, so I think weather conditions won't have much effect on performance.
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