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Mr and Mrs Poistogova are looking good

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It was very much a family affair at the 23rd Yalamov Memorial Indoor meeting in Ekaterinburg in Russia.

Ekaterina Poistogova and her husband Stepan both produced fine performances to put down early markers in the countdown to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot in March. 

They both competed in the 1000m and Ekaterina, the Olympic 800m bronze medallist from London in 2012, won in 2:43.92 from Yevgeniya Zinurova in 2:44.72.

Stepan was in charge in the men's race as he won in 2:20.59, a personal best.

It was on this track three years ago to the day when he ran his previous quickest time of 2:22:13 and will now use this fine run as a base with the Championships less than two months away.

Russia is arguably the most dominant of European athletics teams and the selection for Sopot will be tough.

No athlete wants to peak a few days into the New Year but good form is a good sign of what could lie ahead after months of hard training wondering what will be at the end of it.

And the Russians showed they are making an impressive start to 2014.

Yegor Nikolayev won the 3000m in 7:51.96, beating Konstantin Vasilyev in 7:57.48, while in the women's 2000 m Svetlana Karamasheva triumphed in 5:55.64 ahead of Anna Shchagina, second in 5:56.88, and Svetlana Kireyeva, third in 5:57.29.

Tatyana Veshkurova is one of Russia's leading relay runners and she produced a good double here.

She won the 500m in 1:10.57 and was then second in the quickest of the 300m heats in 37.66 as Marina Chernova won in a personal best of 37.27.

A silver medallist in the 4x400m squads at both the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 and then last March at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg, Veshkurova will be seeking more glory in Poland.

Turkey's Ramil Guliyev, a guest at the event, won the 60m in 6.76 - his same time as in the heats - while Ekaterina Voronenkova took the women's race in a personal best of 7.41.

As usual, the Russian team will be a force to be reckoned with throughout 2014, and will be the favourites for the European Team Championships in Braunschweig, Germany, 21-22 June.