Denis Yuskov will be one of the favourites for victory in the men's 1,500m ©Getty Images

Kolomna is set to stage the first European Single Distance Championships as athletes continue to build towards the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

Competition is set to take place at the Moscow Region Speed Skating Centre, with action running from tomorrow until Sunday (January 7).

It is the first edition of the event, with the European Allround and European Sprint Championships having previously been the only competition.

The event will now take place in odd years, while the European Single Distance Championships will be held in even years.

Russian eyes will be on Denis Yuskov, who enjoyed a successful December for a number of different reasons.

The 28-year-old achieved the world record in the men’s 1500 metres at the Speed Skating World Cup in Salt Lake City.

Later in the month he was cleared of doping by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in relation to the manipulation of the anti-doping system in Sochi.

While the speed skater was cleared, uncertainly remains over whether the three-time world champion will be able to compete at Pyeongchang 2018, having previously served a four-year suspension from the Russian team for using marijuana in 2008

It comes after the IOC ruled earlier this year that Russian athletes can only compete neutrally under the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) banner at the Games next year.

A previous IOC attempt to ban Russians who had returned from doping bans from future Olympic Games was ruled unsuccessful by CAS before Rio 2016.

Jan Blokhuijsen has been tipped for success in the 5,000m ©Getty Images
Jan Blokhuijsen has been tipped for success in the 5,000m ©Getty Images

Yuskov will nonetheless head to Kolomna as one of the favourites to earn European gold medals, with the Russian set to be the leading contender in the 1500 metres.

The men’s 5,000m will be the longest event contested, with the title viewed as being up for grabs due to the absence of the Netherlands’ Sven Kramer, who has opted to skip the event as part of his Olympic preparations.

His compatriots Jan Blokhuijsen and Simon Schouten are tipped for success as a result.

Russian sprinters Olga Fatkulina and Angelina Golikova are among the favourites in the women’s sprint competitions.

While the classic single distance events are set to take place on January 5 and 6, the team event and mass start competitions will be held on Sunday (January 7).