The jumping events provided some of the top highlights of last year’s Russian Winter and the 2014 edition of the IAAF Indoor Permit meeting is similarly expected to produce some high-quality performances after the organisers revealed the fields for the men’s high jump and women’s long jump.
Russian star Darya Klishina, winner of the past two European indoor titles, headlines the women’s long jump. She triumphed at the Russian Winter meeting three consecutive times between 2010 and 2012, but at the 2013 edition she was beaten into second by compatriot Olga Kucherenko.
On 2 February Klishina’s main opponent looks set to be USA’s Janay DeLoach-Soukup, the world indoor silver medallist, whose PBs both indoors and outdoors are just two centimetres shy of Klishina’s.
DeLoach Soukup has the marginal advantage in their career head-to-head record at 4-3, but Klishina will be aiming to equalise that tally in the Russian capital.
Also in the field is US Olympian Chelsea Hayes, another seven-metre jumper at her absolute best. World heptathlon champion Hanna Melnychenko is in the line-up too. The Ukrainian will be looking to improve on her indoor PB of 6.41m.
Four of Russia’s best high jumpers will also be in action. Ivan Ukhov will take on his predecessor as Olympic champion, Andrey Silnov.
Ukhov still holds the meeting record with his 2.39m victory from 2007. He also recorded three successive victories at this meeting between 2009 and 2011, but Silnov ended that streak in 2012 by winning with 2.36m.
Taking on the pair of Olympic gold medallists will be 2010 European champion Aleksandr Shustov and European indoor champion Sergey Mudrov.
The quartet will be keen to impress on home soil ahead of the IAAF World Indoor Championships, as selection in this event always proves to be highly competitive in Russia.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF