Nikolai Snesarev: The man behind Avinash Sable's triumph at the Commonwealth Games

The tale of Avinash sable is known to many, but not much is known about the man behind his success.

Nikolai Snesarev (Picture Credits - @PTUshaOfficial Twitter)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Aug 10, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

After his silver medal triumph at the Commonwealth Games 2022, the tale of Avinash Sable is known to many. On August 6, Sable became the first Indian to win a medal in the men’s 3000m at the Commonwealth Games 2022. On his quest for a podium finish, he beat two Kenyans to clinch the silver. He also became the first non-Kenyan athlete to win a medal in this event in the 21st century.

Hailing from a poor farmer family at Mandwa village in Maharashtra’s Beed district, Sable used to run 6kms to school every day. What is unknown to people is the man behind Sable’s success in the field of Athletics. Following his victory, he credited Nikolai Snesarev for his development as a world-class athlete. Avinash mentioned that it was Nikolai who inculcated self-belief in him. Earlier, he had never thought that Indians would ever be able to compete and defeat the Kenyans or any international medallists. But, Nikolai changed this perception of him. Nikolai passed away at the NIS Patiala in March 2021. 

On a virtual press conference post his triumph, Avinash got emotional while talking about Snesarev. He said, “I will never forget what Coach Nikolai Snesarev did for me. Many coaches will come and go in my life but his influence on my career has been life-changing. He changed my belief. I have never seen a more honest coach in my life.

Snesarev was a respected coach among the athletes and Indian officials. He is known for producing medal winners and record-breaking achievers. He came to India as a coach. His guidance played an instrumental role in helping Preeja Sreedharan and Kavita Raut achieve the gold and silver in the 10,000m at the Asian Games Guangzhou in 2010. Lalitha Babar became the first Indian track athlete to reach the steeplechase final after 32 years under Snesarev’s training. He was a very strict coach who trained only those who were ready to follow his instructions. He had a long list of ‘Do not’. The Commonwealth Games 2010 bronze medallist Kavita Raut also hailed him as the reason behind her success. Undoubtedly, Nikolai Snesarev was one of the finest coaches to have served Indian athletics.