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    Nikolai Snesarev, acclaimed coach of India’s women distance stars, dies


    Coach Nikolai Snesarev, the robust taskmaster credited for the success of ladies distance runners on the 2010 Asian Video games in Guangzhou and the Commonwealth Video games in New Delhi, handed away in his room on the Nationwide Institute of Sports activities in Patiala on Friday. He was 72.

    Snesarev first coached Indian athletes in 2005 and his proudest second got here 5 years later when Preeja Sreedharan and Kavita Raut received gold and silver respectively within the 10,000 metres and Sudha Singh took the steeplechase gold at Guangzhou. On the 2016 Rio Olympics, Lalitha Babar, additionally skilled by Snesarev, reached the ultimate of the steeplechase, a primary for an Indian monitor athlete since PT Usha 32 years earlier.

    “We’re surprised by the information that coach Nikolai was discovered useless in his room immediately. He returned to India only some days in the past, having agreed to coach steeplechaser Avinash Sable for the Olympic Video games in Tokyo. We’ll cherish his lengthy affiliation with Indian athletics and can miss him,” Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwala mentioned.

    Robust love

    Solely these prepared for the grind have been in a position to prepare with the person from Minsk, Belarus. He received Indian athletes to stay to a boiled-vegetable-and-chicken-soup weight loss plan, instructed them to quick on their weekly off until dinner, rationed cell phone utilization to at least one or two calls per week, requested them to shun dietary supplements, and made them prepare until they have been able to fall. His phrase was remaining, as Raut attested.

    “After I received bronze within the 10,000 metres on the Commonwealth Video games in Delhi, he didn’t permit me to go away the camp. It was an enormous second for me and the nation. I used to be being invited for a lot of felicitation capabilities. One organiser was even able to fly me up and down in a helicopter. However Nikolai sir mentioned nothing doing. He instructed me ‘this isn’t the time to have fun this medal as a result of for those who do, you’ll lose focus and time’. A number of months later, I received a silver on the Asian Video games. Each single medal I’ve achieved from 2006 to 2014 is due to him. With out his teaching and care, there can be no success for me,” Raut mentioned on Friday.

    Most athletes accepted the robust love as a result of it got here with the assure of a global medal. Furthermore, Snesarev put in as a lot effort because the athletes he skilled.

    “Once we travelled for coaching or competitors, Nikolai sir would put our footwear and coaching tools into our baggage. They have been heavy however he lugged our baggage on his shoulders. Even when we needed to journey by autorickshaw or bus he would carry the baggage,” Raut mentioned.

    Even after an athlete had moved on, Snesarev stored in contact. When he met Raut’s husband for the primary time in 2015, Snesarev spoke like a father who had given his daughter’s hand in marriage.

    “He instructed my husband, ‘I sorted her and took care of her for 10 years. I used to be like her mom and father. Now you need to take care of her in addition to I did’. Once I grew to become a mom three years in the past, he would message on Facebook to investigate about how me and my youngster have been doing,” Raut mentioned.

    Consideration to element

    Snesarev, Raut believed, was coach, nutritionist and life coach rolled into one. Each morsel of meals the athletes ate and each sip they took needed to be cleared by him. “He wouldn’t permit us to actually have a restoration drink after a coaching session. He wished us to devour solely issues that have been pure. So he would combine lemon juice, somewhat honey and heat water and provides it to us on the floor. He would style it first after which give it to us,” she recalled.

    Athletes Snesarev skilled needed to get used to aches and pains as a result of any kind of painkillers or permitted medicines have been banned. “He felt if we took any kind of remedy, it might decelerate our restoration. He wished us to devour pure substances. All the things we ate needed to be made in entrance of him or after being cleared by him. Boiled fish, boiled hen with none spices and boiled greens, and a soup is what he made us eat daily. Solely somewhat salt was allowed. It was not straightforward to coach beneath him, however it was rewarding. And he actually cared in regards to the well-being of the athletes he skilled.”

    No cheat days have been allowed. On Sunday, a weekly off, which adopted a heavy day of coaching, athletes needed to quick until late night. “His principle was that fasting would assist us get better quicker,” Raut says.

    Athletes had little or no contact with the surface world and have been largely confined to their coaching venue and place of keep. “We needed to hand over our cell phones to him and have been allowed to make use of them solely to make important calls, that too throughout an allotted interval,” Raut added.

    Like Raut, Sudha too was shocked to listen to in regards to the demise of the coach who guided her to Asian Video games glory.
    “From A to Z, he did all the pieces for us. He fought for five-star lodging for us once we travelled, snug journey. He put our wants earlier than his. Athletes have been his precedence. In return, he demanded full dedication. You might come 5 minutes early for follow however for those who have been a minute late, then life might get robust,” she mentioned.

    Sudha, scheduled to compete in a marathon in New Delhi on Sunday, was wanting ahead to catching up with Snesarev. “We chatted briefly after he got here to India just lately. For me and different athletes like Kavita and Preeja, he was like a supreme guru. To realize blessings of a guru you need to make sacrifices however each one in all them is price it.”



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