The 2017 World Sambo Championships are due to take place here from tomorrow as more than 1,000 athletes from over 90 countries compete for the 27 sets of medals on offer.
The three-day event will be held at the 12,000-capacity Iceberg Skating Palace, which hosted competition in figure skating and short track speed skating during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
The women will battle it out for top honours in the 48 kilograms, 60kg and 72kg weight divisions on the opening day of competition before the 52kg, 64kg and 80kg categories take centre stage on day two, followed by the 56kg, 68kg and over 80kg classes on Sunday (November 12).
First up for the men are the 52kg, 68kg and 90kg divisions with the 57kg, 74kg and 100kg categories being held on day two and the 62kg, 82kg and over 100kg classes rounding off the schedule.
Combat sambo, which unlike sport sambo allows punches, kicks, elbows, knees, headbutts and groin strikes, will be contested in the 57kg, 74kg, 100kg, 62kg, 82kg, over 100kg, 52kg, 68kg and 90kg divisions.
It is expected that seven countries will be represented at a World Sambo Championships for the first time.
Bangladesh, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Hong Kong and Saint Lucia are all set for their debuts.
"I am sure that it will be a great sports holiday, which will bring us numerous sensations," International Sambo Federation President Vasily Shestakhov was reported as saying by Russia's official news agency TASS.
"Athletes from the Republic of Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Hong Kong and Taiwan performed remarkably at continental tournaments having displayed strong will and the spirit of victory.
"It will be definitely not easy for the reigning champions defending their titles in Sochi."
Trinidad and Tobago Sambo and Combat Sambo Federation President, Jason Fraser, is hopeful the country’s athletes will medal at the event.
Kelvin Guy, Martin Joseph and Keron Bourne make up an experienced contingent for the Caribbean nation.
Guy will compete in the sport sambo 100kg category, while Joseph and Bourne will contest the combat sambo 90kg and 62kg divisions respectively.
Bourne is the favourite for a medal following his success at the 2017 President’s Cup Combat Sambo Grand Slam, held in London at the end of September.
"I’m hoping that our athletes will medal at the tournament, but I know that all the conditions are against us," Fraser told Guardian Media Sports, referring to the fact that the Trinidad and Tobago team will be among the last to arrive in Sochi.
"I am keeping very positive that we can show and represent Trinidad and Tobago to the best of our ability."
Russia last staged the World Sambo Championships in 2013, when Saint Petersburg played host.
Oil company Rosneft Oil is the general sponsor of this year's edition.
The Rostec state corporation is also a sponsor.
Television companies in 20 countries are expected to broadcast the finals of each category.