Roma 08: Isinbayeva 5.03WR


Saturday, 12 July 2008 "I am stronger now in my personal condition…Before I was full of problems” - Isinbayeva - ÅF Golden League, Rome

Rome, Italy - Yelena Isinbayeva said that she was motivated by anger to set her 22nd World record in the women’s Pole Vault here tonight (11).

Isinbayeva, Russia’s Olympic, World and European champion, jumped 5.03m to beat by 2cm the mark of 5.01 she had held since 2005.

Competing in the ‘28th Golden Gala Kinder+Sport’ meeting in the Olympic Stadium, in the third of the season’s ÅF Golden League fixtures, Isinbayeva cleared the new record height at her second attempt and celebrated by running straight to her coach, Vitaliy Petrov, who hugged her with delight.

The 26-year-old Isinbayeva was then asked if she felt she could improve on her new record and she referred to her often-stated intention to beat the 35 World records set in the men’s Pole Vault by Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka. “I think you know the answer,” she said. “You saw I was not near at the bar, I was higher. My goal is to jump 36 World records.

“Here in Rome are good facilities, I love this crowd, and they want something great from me. From the beginning the plan was for me to jump 4.70, 4.85, 4.95 and 5.02 but when I jumped over 4.95 Vitaliy told me to try 5.03 because he said ‘you have tried a lot of times 5.02 and nothing happened, so we should change something’ and we did 5.03.”

Isinbayeva set the record in her first outdoor meeting of the year, having said beforehand that the timing of her opening competition was perfect with the Olympics in mind. She will have three more competitions before Beijing, in Stockholm, London and Monte Carlo.

The 4.92m Area record set by Jenn Stuczynski at the United States trials on 6 July had, for the second time this year, following her 4.90m Area record on 18 May, called into question whether Isinbayeva had long to last as World No.1. This drew a response from the Russian when she was asked whether her training for this season had differed in any way from previous years.

“It was not different,” she said. “Everything was like every other time but maybe I am more angry. When Stuczynski jumped 4.90 then 4.92 it made me so angry because everyone started to say ‘Isinbayeva is finished, we have a new star’. It made me angry and I am happy for that feeling because I didn’t feel it enough since my last World record.”

“Today I was so happy with my jumping because before I was looking on TV and my technique was terrible. But today I loved myself so much!” The crowd in the stadium loved her to as she spoke in Italian and later, at her World record press conference, she switched between English and Italian. She trains with Petrov in Formia.”

Asked why it had taken only one month short of three years to improve her outdoor World record, Isinbayeva – who raised her indoor World record to 4.95 this year – said: “Because of the problems I had before, changes in my technique, my personal life, my coach, my life generally. But today I feel happy inside - so, so happy. Today I feel like the previous Isinbayeva.

“I think I am stronger now in my personal condition. I run faster, I long jump longer, but more important, inside I feel so happy, so calm. Before I was full of problems.”

David Powell for the IAAF