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Yelena Isinbayeva



Full Name: Yelena Isinbayeva
Born: Thursday 3rd June, 1982 (Volgograd, Russia)
Lives: ?
Height: ft in/m
Weight: stone lbs/kg
Event: Pole Vault
Club: ?

Personal Bests:

Pole Vault 5.01 August 2005 Helsinki, FIN
Pole Vault (Indoors) 4.91 2006 Donetsk, UKR


Isinbayeva finished 10cm away from the medal placings at the World Junior Championships in Annecy, France, clearing 4.00m.


Isinbayeva improved to take Gold at the World Youth Games in Bydgoszcz, Poland with 4.10m.


At the World Junior Championships is Santiago, Chilie, she again took first place clearing 4.20 m. ahead of German Annika Becker .


Isinbayeva took the World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy with 4.40m.


Isinbayeva won the Russian National indoor and outdoor championships.

Isinbayeva was second to Feofanova by 5cm, clearing 4.55m at the European Outdoor Championships in Munich.

European Championships 2002


Isinbayeva finished 3rd in the Russian National Championships, highlighting the country's dominance at the event.

Svetlana Feofanova claimed gold for Russia and also set a new world indoor record, clearing 4.80m in the pole vault to complete a truly thrilling edition of the World Indoors. 

However, Yelena Isinbayeva made up for it by breaking the indoor record with 4.86 later in 2003.

Yelena won the European Under 23 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland with 4.65m. She went on to break the World record, clearing 4.82m on July 13th in Gateshead.

Isinbayeva took the Bronze medal at the World Championships in Paris with 4.65m, behind winner Feofanova and Olympic Champion Dragila.


Yelena set a new indoor world record, with 4.83m during a meeting in Donetsk in the Ukraine, only to see Feofanova increase this by a centimetre the following week.  

The following month Isinbayeva won the World Indoor Championships Pwith a vault of 4.86, 5cm higher than silver medallist Olympic Champion Stacey Dragila (USA).

2004 Pole Vault World Record Performances
27/06/04   Gateshead   4.87m
25/07/04   Birmingham   4.89m
30/07/04   London   4.90m

She returned to Gateshead on 27th June to improve the world mark to 4.87m. Feofanova responded by breaking the record by another centimetre in Greece. 

On July 25th in Birmingham Yelena reclaimed the record, jumping 4.89 m. 

Norwich Union London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on Friday night 30th July

Yelena Isinbayeva broke the world pole vault record for the third time this year on British soil at Crystal Palace on 31 July. 

Having taken the WR to 4.89m at the Norwich Union International in Birmingham on Sunday, Isinbayeva gleefully earned another US$50,000 bonus from the sponsors by clearing 4.90m at the first attempt. Her compatriot Svetlana Feofanova, who had held the record at 4.88m, responded by having the bar put up to 4.95m but found the challenge literally too steep despite almost hysterical support from the enthralled crowd.

The pole vault duel came towards the end of a meeting of fabulous quality and drama.

"I will never stop breaking records. I am not thinking about the [Olympics] Gold medal. It is going to be a hard competition and it is going to take a world record to win."  

Her rival, Feofanova agrees: "By the looks of things, it is going to take a world record to win Olympic Gold."  

The two Russians will do battle with defending champion Stacey Dragila at the Athens Olympics.

Crystal Palace


The pole vault was one of the most eagerly awaited events at the Athen Olympics. With all of the other events finished the whole crowd were focused on the pole vault. When Feofanova failed at 4.90 m the gold medal was Yelena's, and she then rubbed salt into her compatriots wound by attempting and clearing a new world record height of 4.91 m.



Isinbayeva smashes record again

Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva was back in record-breaking form on Saturday as she soared to a new world indoor pole vault record of 4.87m.

The Russian set eight records indoors and out last season and was at her best again in the Sergei Bubka annual pole vault competition in the Ukraine.

Her vault was still four centimetres short of her outdoor word record.

"This is the first world mark of the year," said the 22-year-old. "I'm sure there will be more."

American Derek Miles set a personal best of 5.85m to win the men's event, ahead of Russian Igor Pavlov.


Norwich Union Grand Prix, Birmingham

Pre-race: A keenly fought duel is in store between red-hot Russians, Yelena Isinbayeva, the Olympic Champion, and World Outdoor Gold medallist Svetlana Feofanova. As ever the Indoor World Record, currently held by Isinbayeva at 4.87m, could be challenged.

Pole vault (4.25m): The immaculate Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) earned another US$30,000 by setting her 11th World record – her fifth indoors – with a clearance of 4.88m at the second attempt.

“I didn’t realise I was in such good shape. I was tired going into the event but the crowd was so good and it really pushed me over the bar. This result has given me the confidence to push for even greater heights. Thank you Birmingham.”


I'm not perfect, says Isinbayeva

February 23, 2005

IT is the art of perfection that is carrying Yelena Isinbayeva to new heights.

Her latest pole vault of 4.88m brought her another $30,000, a glorious reception from the sell-out crowd at the National Indoor Arena and a further rewriting of the world record books.

The public image is good; the private one is of a woman striving daily, weekly, monthly, to go beyond what carried her over the bar in front of 8000 people on Friday night.

The short indoor season is reaching a climax in Madrid next week at the European Championships and it would be of little surprise if what Isinbayeva achieved in England is not repeated in Spain. Not that she expects it, anything but. Yet, she is clearing new heights because she is pushing herself to new limits. Nothing is enough. It may never be.

The night ended with the drama that Isinbayeva brings to the event on regular occasions. On her second attempt at 4.88m, having established a world record height of 4.87m six days earlier in Donetsk in Russia, she ensured she is that bit richer.

It is now 11 world record successes for Isinbayeva, 22, since her first in Gateshead in 2003 and this latest one arrived in the arena where she won her first world title, in 2003.

But it was probable that a question on the lips of many who left after a tremendous night of action at the Norwich Union Grand Prix was: how does she do it?

Part of the answer arrived in a quiet room at the athlete's hotel, as Isinbayeva digested another world record. "I will always try to break more of them," she said. "But it is not perfect. When I compete, the speed is okay. Sergey Bubka did say that my technique is perfect, the best he has seen for a woman pole vaulter. But if I do not have the mistakes, I have the potential to go higher."

The self-examination of her achievements are taking this citizen of Volgograd towards breaking five metres, a barrier that few could have predicted would be possible within only a decade of women's pole vaulting becoming part of the mainstream international programme.

Isinbayeva, who says she has gone over five metres in training, returned from the Olympic Games in Athens last summer determined that even with a gold medal, all was not how she would like it.

She said: "During the winter with my coach I worked on my speed. I have had many mistakes in my technique. Now I have less than I do on my speed.

"I am not fast enough. I became a pole vaulter after being a gymnast. I am tall but I am not as fast as I could be. In training I sprint in repetition sessions over 30 metres and 60 metres. But my speed is the same. If I can go faster, I can go even higher. But that is not always going to happen.

"I do not think I can break the world record every time but this result has given me the confidence to push for even greater heights. I am not going to talk about five metres. I do not like to talk about what I have not achieved."

She trains on a six-day rota: two on technique, two on speed and one on gymnastics before a day's rest.

But it is ironic that speed is her biggest problem because one of her hobbies outside of sport is driving fast.

She owns a BMW X3 - along with the Skoda she won as her world record prize in Donetsk when she cleared 4.87m with several centimetres to spare - and said: "Once at an aerodrome in Volgagrad I drove the Mercedes SLK at 200km per hour. It was a test drive. But I won't be swapping sports."

No wonder. Isinbayeva is one of the supreme stars of world athletics and carries on what has become quite a tradition.

It is eight years next month that women's pole vaulting made its debut at the World Indoor Championships in Paris, and ever since Stacy Dragila, the American former rodeo rider, won that first gold medal, the event has gathered in its momentum.

In Vienna, two years ago, Svetlana Feofanova, a Russian team-mate of Isinbayeva, broke the indoor world record when she won the European title with a clearance of 4.75m.

Outdoors, Isinbayeva was in astonishing form last summer. In 2004, she broke the world record eight times and three of those came in Britain in just over a month, when she cleared 4.87m in Gateshead in June, 4.89m in Birmingham in July and then five days later 4.90 metres at Crystal Palace. Fittingly, she won Olympic gold with 4.91m.

Isinbayeva has taken it to another level, amid a rivalry between these Russians that is compounded with dislike.

Isinbayeva said: "We are not friends, we are big rivals. We do not talk to each other in competitions."

By the time the serious business began on Friday, Britain's Janine Whitlock, who won the AAA title five days earlier, was out. She failed to clear her three attempts at 4.30m and ended the event in sixth place with 4.10m.

Feofanova cleared her first attempt at 4.45m. Both Isinbayeva and her went over at 4.60m, the opening vault for the Olympic champion.

At 4.70m, Feofanova cleared it at the second attempt for a season's best before failing on three at 4.79m. Isinbayeva cleared that first time before knocking the bar off in her opening go at 4.88m. Next time, though, there was no mistake and the cheque was being written.

The five occasions she has achieved the world record in Britain, four times outdoors and now once indoors, has brought her $170,000 in bonuses alone. But it is hard to disagree that Isinbayeva is fantastic value for money because each performance becomes a history-making occasion.


Isinbayeva reaches a new World Mark

Russian Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva soared to yet another world pole vault record in Lausanne.

The 23-year-old added an extra centimetre to her own outdoor mark, clearing 4.93m in Switzerland.

It is the 14th world record of Isinbayeva's career and comes just over three months after she broke her own indoor mark in Lievin.

The Russian, whose indoor mark stands at 4.89m, has yet to clear the milestone 5m-mark in competition.

"It's fantastic for me, I'm so happy," Isinbayeva said. "It's not easy, even if it looks easy.

"I don't know how high I can jump, maybe 5.10 or even 5.15. I just don't know my potential."

Her coach Yevgeny Trofimov claims Isinbayeva has already surpassed 5m in training.

But the Olympic champion receives a $50,000 bonus each time she breaks a world record, so she is likely to take it one step at a time.

She has set herself the target of beating male counterpart Sergei Bubka's haul of 35 world records in the event.


Another World Mark for Isinbayeva 

Russian Yelena Isinbayeva broke the women's pole vault world record for the second time in 11 days when she cleared 4.95m in Madrid on Saturday.

The 23-year-old sailed over the bar on her second attempt at the IAAF Super Grand Prix to break her previous mark of 4.93 set in Lausanne on 5 July.

The Olympic champion, who has now set 15 global records, said: "I knew I was ready to break the record again.

"But it was quite difficult out there - it was very hot and windy."

However, Isinbayeva revealed she had, as always, been greatly encouraged by her coach - Yevgeny Trofimov.

"My coach kept telling me that my technique was good - and that helped," she said.

Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka - who broke the record an incredible 35 times during his own career - was on hand to congratulate the woman who is determined to overhaul his achievements.

Isinbayeva added: "Madrid is a very special place for me as I've broken two world records here and the spectators were fantastic once again."


Isinbayeva sets historic new mark

Yelena Isinbayeva, 23, became the first woman in history to clear five metres as her domination of the pole vault continued at Crystal Palace on Friday.

It marked the 17th world record of her career and the second time she has set a new world best at the London meeting.

The Russian cleared 4.96m, breaking her week-old record of 4.95m, then cleared the 5m barrier at her first attempt.

"It was my dream and my goal to be the first woman over five metres. I'm so happy it's a reality," she said.

Isinbayeva is now chasing Sergei Bubka's total of 35 world records, saying: "I would like to have 36 world records. It's my new goal."



Isinbayeva sets new indoor record

Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva

Yelena Isinbayeva got her 2006 season off to a record-breaking start as she broke her world indoor pole vault mark.

The Russian Olympic and world champion rose the bar to 4.91m in her first competition of the season in Donetsk, to better her previous mark of 4.90m.

The Russian also holds the outdoor record of 5.01m set at last year's World Championships in Helsinki.

Isinbayeva will tune up for the defence of her World Indoor title at the Birmingham Grand Prix on 18 February.

The Russian's feat in the Ukraine was the 19th world mark set by the 23-year-old.