Tue, 13 Apr 2021

New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Friday expressed grief over the demise of noted distance running coach Nikolai Snesarev in the Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports in Patiala.

"I'm deeply saddened to learn about the sad demise of middle and long distance running coach Nikolai Snesarev. He has been a great coach and helped many medal winners during his association with India since 2005. My condolences to his family and the entire athletics fraternity," Rijiju tweeted.

Earlier in the day, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) condoled the sudden demise of Snesarev. AFI, in its statement, also said: "The 72-year-old Belarussian national died with his boots on, having overseen his wards' training this morning."AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla said: "We are stunned by the news that coach Nikolai was found dead in his room today. He returned to India only a few days ago, having agreed to train steeplechaser Avinash Sable for the Olympic Games in Tokyo," he said in a statement. "We will cherish his long association with Indian athletics and will miss him."Sumariwalla said India was fortunate to have benefited from Nikolai Snesarev's rich experience over a number of years. "He was a hard-taskmaster and one who developed his own training routines for his athletes. He was highly respected in the international circles and we were privileged that he shared a wonderful relationship with India," he said.

Having first come to India in 2005, Nikolai Snesarev coached 10,000 m runners Preeja Sreedharan and Kavita Raut to a 1-2 finish in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and Steeplechaser Sudha Singh to gold. It was the first time that Indian women won medals in the 25-lap race.

Later that year, he suggested to Lalita Babar to shift to Steeplechase. Thanks to his sustained efforts, she became the first Indian athlete to reach a track final in the Olympic Games since PT Usha in 1984 when she made it to the Steeplechase final in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He trained a number of Indian distance runners to attain peak performance.

"As someone who believed in research, he showed us the way with his pioneering efforts towards improving the endurance and speed of his athletes. He insisted that athletes never touch any medicines while training with him, imposing a blanket ban on all kinds of medication, even prescribed ones," Sumariwalla said. (ANI)

More Southeast Asia News

Access More

Sign up for Southeast Asia News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!