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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Expects Golden Haul At World Championships

Double Olympic gold medalist Svetlana Masterkova is doubtful for next month's world indoor championships in Paris but Russia's selectors still expect a good medal haul.


"The Russian team is quite capable of taking second place in Paris [in the medal standings] and winning three or four golds," said Russian Athletics Federation general secretary Vadim Zelichenok.


Russia, which will hold its national indoor championships in Volgograd next weekend, expect to field a powerful squad of between 30 and 35 for the March 7-9 championships.


But they will be without Olympic silver medalist Igor Trandenkov in the pole vault and may also be deprived of Masterkova, gold medalist in the 800 and 1,500 meters at the 1996 Atlanta Games.


Trandenkov has had a knee operation and Masterkova needs to rest, said Zelichenok


But indoor sprint specialist Irina Privalova, who ran a year's best 7.02 seconds in the 60 meters at Lievin, France, on Sunday has her sights on both that distance and the 200 meters in Paris.


The indoor heptathlon team will get a boost from the defection to Moscow of Ukrainian decathlete Lev Lobodin, bronze medalist in the 1994 European championships.


"It's a great present for us since it's been a long time since we've had good results in the multi-discipline events," Zelichenok said.


Zelichenok admitted that Russian athletics, too, was still suffering from the post-Soviet financial crisis.


The team was unable to hold its usual winter training camp in southern Russia this year. The prize money at Tuesday's international indoor meet in Moscow was cut by a third from last year.


"Now, though, the situation is starting to change for the better," Zelichenok said.