Sergey Ovchinnikov, who coached Russia's women's volleyball team at the London Olympics, was found hanged in his hotel room in Croatia, according to local media reports. Dynamo Moscow, the club team he coached that is training in Croatia, announced his death on its website earlier today. Ovchinnikov was 43.
Several websites are speculating that Ovchinnikov killed himself because he was troubled by the Russian team's disappointing performance in London. He was named the national team's coach in December, and even though the Russians had won world championships in 2006 and 2010, they were eliminated in the Olympic quarterfinals after blowing six match points against Brazil, the team that eventually won gold.
The head coach of the men's volleyball team, Vladimir Alekno, confirmed that the London failure was a huge blow for Ovchinnikov.
"He took the Olympics very personally," Alekno said. "I saw what he was going through and how upset he was after the defeat. He didn't talk much."
Sovetsky Sport reported that "in recent months the coach often complained of headaches." An official cause of death has not been determined, with the Russian embassy awaiting word from Croatian authorities.