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Isinbayeva maps out three meet build-up to Moscow World Indoors

19.01.2006

Yelena Isinbayeva, the World Athlete of the Year and Overall IAAF World Ranked number one, has mapped out a three meeting build-up to the defence of her World Indoor Pole Vault title at the 11th IAAF World Indoor Championships, Moscow, Russia (10 - 12 March 2006).
The World and Olympic champion, who yesterday refuted press speculation that her change of coaching set up would lead to her eventually changing her nationality, will first compete in Sergey Bubkas Zepter Pole Vault Stars meet in Donetsk (UKR) on 12 February, then the Norwich Union Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham (GBR) on 18 February, and finally the Meeting Gaz de France du Pas de Calais in Liévin (FRA) on 3 March.

Now coached by Vitaly Petrov, who also trains Italys 2003 World champion Guiseppe Gibilisco, Isinbayeva has focused her indoor campaign on the World Indoors at the beginning of March, which as they take place on home soil have even more significance for the 23-year-old on this occasion.

Denying speculation that because she has been training at Petrovs base at the Italian sports school in Formia that she might one day compete for Italy, Isinbayeva confirmed through her management yesterday that I love Russia and will always represent my native country.

Moreover, during this indoor season the Russian star who last summer became the first woman in history to pole vault 5 metres will actually spend most of her training time in Sweden, rather than Italy.

After competing in Donetsk, Isinbayeva, Gibilisco and Petrov will move to Malmo on Swedens southern Baltic coast, which has exceptionally good indoor facilities and all the medical and training set-up required to prepare for a World title defence. The group will stay in the city departing two days before each of their competitions during the season.

Chris Turner for the IAAF
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