Isinbayeva 4.91 World indoor record in Donestsk


As was seemingly expected, Yelena Isinbayeva began her 2006 season by raising her own World indoor record in the pole vault at the Pole Vault Stars competition in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Jumping before a capacity crowd at the Sport Palace Druzhba, the reigning World and Olympic champion and twice World athlete of the year cleared 4.91 on her first attempt, adding one centimetre to her previous indoor standard of 4.90 set last year at the European Indoor Championships in Madrid. It was the 19th senior World record for the Volgograd native.

"It was my first competition of the year, so I did feel some pressure," the 23-year-old Russian said. "It was the first time competing without my old coach." Last November, Isinbayeva parted with long-time coach Yevgeni Trofimov, and now trains under Vitaly Petrov.

Isinbayeva opened the competition with a miss at her opening height of 4.61, before ridding herself of her season debut jitters. She continued with first attempt clearances at 4.71 and 4.81 before the bar was raised to the new record height.

"I used a soft pole on the first jump," Isinbayeva said. "Afterwards I was able to gain my rhythm."

She needed a second try before sailing over 4.91 and concluding the competition.

It was the third year in a row that Isinbayeva raised the World indoor record in the Donetsk competition, traditionally the finest gathering of international Pole Vault talent each winter. In 2004, she upped the record with first attempt clearances of 4.81 and 4.83, and again last year, when she reached 4.87. In 2005, Isinbayeva became the first woman to clear five metres, and later cleared 5.01 in Helsinki to win her first World title outdoors.

As she did in Helsinki, Monika Pyrek of Poland finished second after successfully negotiating 4.76 on her first attempt, another national record for the 25-year-old, and her highest-ever clearance. In the process, Pyrek moved up to the No. 4 slot all-time, edging past compatriot Anna Rogowska.

Rogowska, the runner-up here last year, finished third with a 4.61 effort. Russian Tatyana Polnova and Kelly Suttle of the U.S. were fourth and fifth, each managing 4.51.

* pending ratification

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF
RusAthletics - Russian Athletics

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