Around 160 Russian and foreign athletes from 15 countries are going to open the winter season at the traditional "Russian Winter" meeting, which will take place in Moscow on Saturday, January 27.
The competition will be financed mainly by Russian sports ministry and some appearance money will be paid only to the foreign athletes.
The Russian participants have another motivation. They need to show qualification marks to get a chance to enter the national team for the World Indoor Championships.
Among them are new talented young athletes, the winners of last year’s World Junior Championships, and everyone must participate at the Russian indoor championships (February 15-18) to gain selection for the trip in Lisbon.
For the first time no one will get a place in the team due to the former achievements without selection.
The leaders of the Russian athletic federation acknowledged that they have not enough money to make the "Russian Winter" a more desirable competition than the "IHM Meeting" in Karlsruhe on February 28, which is why some of the best Russian athletes prefer to make money in Germany.
One of them Yuriy Borzakovskiy will run his first race in Karlsruhe. His next start will be at the Sparkassen Cup in Stuttgart and then he will return in Moscow for the national championships.
The chief coach of the team Valeriy Kulichenko said that Borzakovsky has already reached quite a good form.
After the world championships in Portugal 30 Russian athletes shall go to Glasgow for the match meeting with the US and British teams.
The 50-strong national team for the World Indoor Championships will be short of three Olympic champions: 400m hurdles winner Irina Privalova is aiming to be on her top form for the summer and has no interest in attempting another indoor champion title. Her main aim is to be the first in Edmonton.
Two Olympic champions in the high jump, Yelena Yelesina and Sergey Kliugin will also be absent from Lisbon.
Nikolay Ivanov in Moscow for IAAF