Yelena Isinbayeva to retire after world championship

Yelena Isinbayeva to retire after world championship

MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Yelena Isinbayeva to retire after world championship

Russian’s pole vault superstar Yelena Isinbayeva competes in the women’s pole vault during the IAAF World Athletics Grand Prix meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic on June 27, 2013. AFP photo

Russian pole vault queen and double Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva announced on July 23 she would be retiring after her home world athletics championships, which take place in Moscow in August.

“My career will come to its end at the world championships,” Isinbayeva told reporters after winning the national title at Moscow’s Luzhniki arena.

“For me it will be a really nostalgic moment. I want to enjoy a joyful career finish and will show my best at the world championships.”

“At the worlds I will fight with the height and myself,” she added. “It was here in Luzhniki that I won my first title and here my career will come to an end.

“I expect a huge support from my fans at the event as I really need it to show everything I’m able to show. I’m ready to battle for the win” Isinbayeva, who won gold at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, has set 28 world records in women’s pole vault including the current world’s best mark of 5.06 metres.

The Russian pole vault queen cruised to the national title on the second day of Russia’s track and field athletics championships on July 23. She cleared the 4.75-meter mark with her third attempt to finish 15 centimeters clear of second-placed Anastasia Savchenko. Angelina Krasnova was third with 4.50 meters.

Injuries healed

Isinbayeva said she has almost completely recovered from the leg injury which prevented her from competing at several tournaments this season and was ready to compete at the world championships at Moscow’s Luzhniki arena next month.

“My leg doesn’t cause me inconvenience any more,” Isinbayeva said. “I can jump almost at full strength. The doctors told me that my physical condition will improve for the world championships.”

The 31-year-old pole vault queen added that after the Russian championships she was planning to return to her home town Volgograd to carry out final preparations for the worlds.

Maxim Sidorov, meanwhile, won the men’s shot put in reaching the 20.45-meter mark. Alexander Lesnoi placed second with 20.23m, while Soslan Tsirikhov won bronze in 19.75m.

In the men’s 1,500m, Valentin Smirnov was first but his time of 3:47.09 did not qualify for a place at the worlds. Yegor Nikolaev was second in 3:47.30 while Mark Tolstikhin came third 0.13 behind Nikolaev.

Yelena Kotulskaya took gold in the final of the women’s 800m in 1:59.56. Yekaterina Sharmina came second in 2:00.33, 0.26 ahead third-placed Marina Pospelova.

“I did everything right today,” Kotulskaya said. “The result was not very important as this season I already hit the time that allowed me to qualify for the worlds.”

“However, I’m glad that I managed to clock inside two minutes. I hope to show an even better result at the world championships.”

Meanwhile, Yekaterina Strokova won the women’s discus with a result of 61.34 metres. Silver went to Svetlana Saikina with 59.82m while Vera Ganeyeva claimed bronze with 57.82m.

‘Serious result’

The 2007 world silver medalist Lyudmila Kolchanova grabbed the Russian championships’ gold medal in the women’s long jump, landing a jump of 6.89m.

Olga Kucherenko was second with 6.75m and Veronika Mosina earned the bronze with 6.70m.

“I’m pleased with today’s result,” Kolchanova said.

“But I hope to improve my performance in the near future. The new surface at the Luzhniki arena is excellent and I’m looking forward to showing a serious result at the worlds here next month.”