India's athletics coach Nikolai Snesarev found dead in hostel room

The cause of death, however, is still not known

By Samrat Chakraborty

India's athletics coach Nikolai Snesarev was found dead in his hostel room at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala on Friday.

The Belarusian middle and long-distance running coach had returned to the country on March 2 to train the country's long-distance runners, especially Tokyo-bound steeplechaser Avinash Sable.

"Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is deeply shocked to learn about the sudden demise of recently appointed middle-long distance coach Dr. Nikolai Snesarev in Patiala," AFI president Adille J Sumariwalla was quoted as saying by PTI.

His body was found from the hotel room after the 72-year-old did not turn up for Friday's Indian Grand Prix 3 as planned. The cause of death, however, is still not known.

"He had come to NIS for the Indian Grand Prix 3 (from his Bengaluru base) held today. But when he did not turn up for the meet, the coaches checked for him in the evening, and his room was found locked from inside," Sumariwalla said.

"When the door was broken, he was found lying on his bed. The Sports Authority of India doctor at the NIS declared him dead.

"We don't know the cause of death. We will know it later after post mortem."

The veteran had returned to coach the Indian athletes after a gap of two years. His earlier stint came to an end in February 2019 when he decided to end his association with the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) in acrimonious circumstances.

He has trained some of India’s finest long-distance runners like Preeja Sreedharan, OP Jaisha, Sudha Singh and Lalita Babbar.