Russia are steeled for a tough group after naming their squad for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup in the United States.
Yuri Bistritsky's team open their Group D campaign against Australia on 21 September, but the biggest test for the 1999 quarter-finalists will be their fixture against the team that knocked them out at that stage, China.
"China are the strongest team in the group and one of the best in the world", Bistritsky said. "They will contend for gold." The group also contains Ghana.
Bursakova bows out
Key to the squad is 37-year-old defender Marina Bursakova, who is set to retire after winning more than 120 caps. Natalia Barabashina of FC Lada Togliatti, who scored four goals in qualifying against Iceland, Spain and Italy, leads the attack.
Bistritsky admitted that finishing in the top two of the group would be a creditable achievement. "Our primary task is to advance to the next stage", she said. "I am not very happy with the fitness of the team. The busy season has just ended, so we will take time to rest after we arrive in the United States."
Petko, Pigaleva, Volkova, Burakova, Strukova, Zaitseva, Sayenko, Pustovoitova, Egorova, Komarova, Svetlitskaya, Sergayeva, Fomina, Denshik, Shmachkova, Skotnikova, Kolomiyets, Danilova, Letyushova, Barbashina.
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