Russia's defence of their 2002 World League title will start in earnest next month when the national men's side go into camp in their Olympic base in Moscow following the conclusion of their national competition.
The World No 1 ranked team, whose World League triumph last year was their first in 13 years of trying, are taking nothing for granted and coach Guennadi Chipouline will have his troops, including stars such as Pavel Abramov, Alexei Koulechov and Vadim Khamouttskikh, firing on all cylinders with a training camp from May 10 until May 22.
All of the World League squad will be in Moscow before Russia's World League campaign starts on May 24 with a trip to Venezuela. With Spain, the team, which caused the shock upset of Russia in last year's final round and Poland Russia's other Pool A opponents, the champions can't afford to rest on their laurels.
And with one eye also on the 2004 Olympics the World League is only one part of the big puzzle for the 2000 Olympic silver medal winners.
Following their World League campaign the Russian players will receive a small break before playing in a quadrangular tournament in the Czech Republic with the hosts, Yugoslavia and Italy from August 17-21, two exhibition games against France on August 29-30 and then the European Championships in Germany from September 5.