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Womens pole vault final: Isinbayeva takes seven jumps to gold

12.08.2006

It took just seven jumps, including qualification, for Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS) to claim gold in the Ullevi stadium with a new championship record of 4.80m. From the start, the only hope any of her rivals had was if she had a disaster in the rain that was steadily falling. A minor hiccup at 4.70m when she dislodged the bar on the way up offered a glimmer of hope, but it was just as suddenly extinguished at the second attempt.
Seven jumps to gold? Yes, that is true, said Isinbayeva. Now I have a full collection of gold medals. This one was missing.
The difference between Yelena Isinbayeva 2002 and 2006? In Munich the silver medal was a great success for me. Here something other than gold would have been a tragedy.

It was difficult to jump in the rain, but the spectators supported us, they were great. The most difficult moments for me were when I started to jump, after waitiing so long, and the weather was so bad. I think, in better weather, I would have jumped the world record.

Today it was more important to win, than to break the record. I do not feel any pressure from the fact that Im not jumping records this season so far. I am starting with something new and records will come, sooner or later.




For the record, Isinbayeva failed her opening height in qualification at 4.40m. Put that down to having to wait for nearly two hours to enter the competition.
Monika Pyrek (POL), Isinbayevas only serious rival, tried to turn the screw after two failures at 4.70m, by moving the bar to 4.80m, but she failed there too and the title was Isinbayevas. The bronze was one by another Russian, Tatyana Polnova, who jumped aggressively for her medal. The defending European champion, Svetlana Feofanova (RUS) was fourth. If this had been a team match, Russia would have walked it.

This year in Moscow I did not get a medal, said Pyrek, recalling the world indoor championships where she was fourth. So I really wanted to win one here in Göteborg. I even dared to dream about the gold medal after beating Isinbayeva in Stockholm.
I rejoice in my silver medal because it was a tough competition. Polnova jumped so well, I rather expected Feofanova to be the bronze medallist. When Polnova finished her competition I knew that I had silver for sure.

So I dreamt about winning the gold medal. I jumped on a new pole which means that I am in great shape. The two attempts at 4.70m and the one at 4.80m were good even if I did not clear those heights. I hope that soon I can beat Isinbayeva again. My coach and her coach are friends, so they talk to each about us. And this helps me a lot."

Before the competition I felt very good, said Polnova. I was thinking about 4.60m or 4.70m. I wanted to fight for a medal, but I also knew that fourth place would be good because the other girls are so strong.

I am not satisfied with my technique, the jumps were not good at all. It is always the same if you are feeling good before the competition, then you make small mistakes. Anyway, I am satisfied with the bronze medal.

By Michael Butcher
Photo: Göran Lenz
RusAthletics - Russian Athletics
E-mail: info@rusathletics.com

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