By Gary Anderson

January 14 - Russia warmed up for Sochi 2014 by thrashing Sweden ©AFP/Getty ImagesSochi 2014 hosts Russia continued preparations for their assault at a home gold medal by sweeping aside the challenge of Sweden in the opening match of the International Ice Sledge Hockey Tournament in Podolsk today.

The reigning World Championship bronze medallists impressed home fans by knocking eight goals passed a shell-shocked Swedish side who could only muster one goal in reply.

The Lillehammer 1994 champions had no answer to the attacking prowess of the Russians, who hammered home their superiority through two goals apiece for Dmitry Lisov and Alexey Lysov, with Andrey Dvinyaniov, Nikolay Terentyev, Igor Lomakin and Illian Volkov also finding the back of the Swedish net.

Per Kasperi's solitary strike did nothing to hide the gap between both sides at the end.

The other two teams in the tournament played out an altogether more closer affair which eventually saw Norway, who claimed gold at Nagano 1998, overcome the Czech Republic 2-1.

Michal Geier's strike for the Czechs was cancelled out by Klakegg Jon Roger and Svee Stig Tore, to get the 2004 world champions off to a winning start in Podolsk.

With all four teams set to appear in Sochi, this week's tournament provides ideal preparation for the main event which is due to get underway in March.

The action in Podolsk continues through until Thursday (January 16).

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