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Rediff.com  » Sports » Time out for pole vault champion Isinbayeva

Time out for pole vault champion Isinbayeva

Last updated on: April 12, 2010 18:11 IST

Time out for pole vault champion Isinbayeva

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Yelena Isinbayeva will take an 'indefinite break' from competition. The Russian World record holder's decision comes in the wake of her failure at the World outdoor championships; it was another shock defeat after the World indoors in Doha last month.

The 27-year-old world record holder said she had been reflecting on whether to take a break or not.

"I have been thinking over this very carefully the last three weeks and now come to the conclusion that a break from competing is absolutely necessary for me." she said.


Image: Yelena Isinbayeva

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'I need to step back for my body to properly recover'

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Isinbayeva finished fourth at the World indoor championships, her second straight setback at a major championship.

The Olympic champion failed three times at 4.75 metres and was left with just a clearance of 4.60, while World champion Anna Rogowska of Poland was assured of bronze with 4.70. Russia's Svetlana Feofanova bagged silver and Brazil's Fabiana Murer took the gold.

After more than eight years of very hard training and competing at the highest levels both indoors and outdoors each year I need to step back in order for my body to properly recover," she said.

Isinbayeva has an incredible 27 world records 15 outdoor and 12 indoor to her name and has won nine straight gold medals in indoor and outdoor championships since breaking through in 2004.

On July 22, 2005, she became the first woman to clear the historic 5-metre barrier in the pole vault.

Her current world records are 5.06m outdoors, a record she set at the IAAF Golden League, Zurich, Switzerland on August 28, 2009, and 5.00m indoors -- a record set at the Donetsk indoor meeting on February 15, 2009.


Image: Yelena Isinbayeva

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Isinbayeva made a mark at 16

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The Russian suffered a first major loss at the Berlin World outdoor championships last year when she failed to clear a height and had counted on bouncing back in Doha, where she was the triple defending champion.

She lost her World championship title in the German capital last August when she failed to clear a height, despite being the overwhelming favorite as the two-time defending champion.

Having made her mark on the international scene when she was just 16 years, her first major victory was at the 1998 World Youth Games in Moscow, where she cleared 4.00 metres.

The following year, Yelena cleared 4.10m at the World Youth Championships in Poland to claim her second gold medal.

She was also successful at the 2000 World Juniors, vaulting 4.20m. The same year women's pole vault became an Olympic event at the Sydney Games.


Image: Yelena Isinbayeva

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'Will be back soon'

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Isinbayeva, however said that she will continue training to keep herself in shape.

"It is my full intention to continue training and keep myself fit.

"At this moment I cannot exactly say when I will return to competitions. I have not completely ruled out the entire summer circuit or the European Championships in Barcelona.

"Nothing has changed with my long-term goals which include the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and the Olympic gold in London 2012," the Russian added.

After extending her own World outdoor record to 5.03 metres earlier 2008, Isinbayeva extended it even further at the Beijing Olympic Games, winning the gold with a leap of 5.05m. She broke the World indoor record in February 2009 by clearing 5.00m. She struggled through the 2009 outdoor season before shockingly no-heighting in the World Championships, then returning to better her outdoor record in August, with a leap of leaping 5.06m.


Image: Yelena Isinbayeva

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