Tag Archives: Yelena Isinbayeva

Bleasdale vs. Isinbayeva

Pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva (Елена Исинбаева) always makes her first jump when everyone else had made theirs. The Russian usually isolates herself from the other competitors, opting to cover her face with a towel and nap. British Olympic hopeful Holly Bleasdale was not amused. She called Isinbayeva “disrespectful” and likened her to a “tramp.”

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Web Traffic!

A Mexican website has made a list of its Top 10 Hottest Olympians. Although Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина did not make the Russian team, she is featured prominently in the article. Previous Track Beauties like Leryn Franco, Yelena Isinbayeva Елена Исинбаева, and Christina Vukicevic Љубица Вукићевић are also included.

The author provided links for readers to learn more about the featured athletes. Lo and behold, my old Track Beauty of the Week post on Vukicevic was included! I’ ve been getting quite a lot of hits from Mexico, as a result.

I made the right decision in migrating all my subsequent Track Beauty posts to Superb Senora. The weekly feature is now on its 2nd year and has taken up a significant chunk of well-known and up and coming athletics personalities. I do not want to be explicitly associated with the Track Beauty brand. Besides, my blog hurdler49 offers more than just your weekly dose of talented female athletes.

London Olympics Preview: The Pole Vault

I love watching the pole vault. It is the most technically demanding athletics event – and one of the most engaging and exciting. I won’t pretend to be a pole vaulting expert. I am not. My knowledge of its technical intricacies are practically nil, so I’ll be basing my predictions on gut feel and statistics.

Photo from Nigel Chadwick

Women’s Pole Vault

Yelena Isinbayeva (Елена Исинбаева) is to women’s pole vault as Sergei Bubka (Сергі́й Бу́бка Серге́й Бу́бка) is to the men’s event. Isinbayeva is undoubtedly, the greatest female vaulter of all-time, the only one to clear above five meters in the relatively young discipline. But the stresses of being on top for so long took its toll on the Russian. Isinbayeva no-heighted at the 2009 Berlin World Championships and placed a dismal fourth a year later at the World Indoors in Doha.

Isinbayeva at the Doha World Indoors. (Photo from Erik van Leeuwen)

After taking a year-long break, the pole vaulting legend is back, having cleared a world-leading 5.02m last February, before storming back to the top at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.

The world record holder, at her best, is unbeatable. She is simply way ahead of her other competitors, despite showing signs of vulnerability the past few years. Isinbayeva is my hands down choice for the Olympic title. It is safe to say that no one can beat Yelena but herself.

The 2011 World Champion, Fabiana Murer (4.63m SB), leads the short list of challengers. Jennifer Suhr, the silver medalist from Beijing behind Isinbayeva, seemed to have regained her old form with season’s best clearances of 4.65m outdoors and 4.88m indoors. Isinbayeva’s long-time rival and compatriot, Svetlana Feofanova (Светлана Феофанова), and the 2009 World Champion, Anna Rogowska, are also be in the running for a spot on the podium.


Murer (L), Suhr (C), and Rogowska (R). (Photos from Wilson Dias/ABr, All-Athletics, and Erik van Leeuwen)

Britain’s Holly Bleasdale has had a sterling indoor campaign, notching a new British record of 4.87m indoors. Only Isinbayeva and Suhr had jumped higher than Bleasdale indoors. The 21-year old has yet to find her form outdoors this season (4.35m), but has a 4.70m personal best from 2011.

Rounding up the list of contenders are Yarisley Silva (4.72m SB indoors), Jirina Ptácniková (4.70m SB indoors), and Silke Spiegelburg (4.77m SB indoors).

Top Three Predictions

Gold: Yelena Isinbayeva

Silver: Fabiana Murer

Bronze:  Jennifer Suhr/Anna Rogowska

Men’s Pole Vault

The demise of Steven Hooker – who once held Olympic, World Championships, World Indoor Championships, and Commonwealth Games titles – has paved the way for an excitingly, unpredicatable competition. Case in point is the Daegu World Championships, where the relatively unknown Paweł Wojciechowski (5.90m) and Lázaro Borges (5.90m) topped the competition, ahead of the favorite, Renaud Lavillenie (5.85m).

Otto (L), Lavillenie (C), and Walker (R) at the Istanbul World Indoors. (Photo from Erik van Leeuwen)

Among the top ten vaulters in the 2012 outdoor season, only Lavillenie (6.01m PB – 2009, outdoors, 6.03m PB – 2011, outdoors) and Brad Walker (6.04m PB – 2008, outdoors) are members of the elite six-meter club. The rest hover around the 5.90m height. The silver medalist from Beijing, Yevgeny Lukyanenko (Евгений Лукьяненко), is ranked below the top 10 (5.65m SB), but had cleared 6.01m back in 2008.


Lukyanenko (L) and Mesnil (R). (Photos from All-Athletics and Albin Denooz)

The other vaulters who have won major championship medals are Björn Otto (2nd, Istanbul 2012, 5.90m PB – 2007), Malte Mohr (2nd, Doha 2010, 5.72m PB – 2012), Romain Mesnil (2nd, Osaka 2007/Berlin 2009; 3rd – Lisbon 2001; 5.95m PB – 2003), and Denys Yurchenko Денис Юрченко (3rd, Budapest 2004; 3rd, Beijing 2008; 5.83m PB – 2008).


Mohr (L) and Yurchenko (R). (Photos from Va.sc. and vecherka.donetsk.ua)

As the world leader, Lavillenie has the favorite tag. The resurgent elder statesmen, Walker and Otto, are surprisingly perched at the higher spots – above their younger competitors. Mohr and the Briton Steven Lewis look poised to make an impact in the world’s highest stage.

The men’s event is certainly a lot tougher to call! But here goes nothing. Who knows? Maybe Stevie Hooker has a few surprises left under his sleeve?

Top Three Predictions

Gold: Renaud Lavillenie

Silver: Brad Walker/Malte Mohr

Bronze:  Romain Mesnil/Björn Otto


2008 Beijing Olympics Results

2011 World Championships Results

2009 World Championships Results

2007 World Championships Results

2012 World Indoor Championships Results

2010 World Indoor Championships Results

IAAF Top List – 2012 Men’s Pole Vault

IAAF Top List – 2012 Women’s Pole Vault

Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина rules Russian Winter Long Jump

Our favorite long jumper, Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина, started the 2011 with a bang. The comely Klishina ruled the recently concluded Russian Winter indoor meeting.

Read Track Beauty of the Week: Darya Klishina

View Darya’s post-competition interview, Yelena Isinbayeva’s comeback vault and Ukhov’s winning jump here

This early, Klishina looks sharp. Her first round effort of 6.82m sealed victory early on. Her subsequent marks were 6.53m, 6.77m and 6.76m. Two of the aforesaid leaps were better than  second-placer Anna Nazarova’s Анна Назарова 6.75m.

Read the EAA article on the Russian Winter competition

Here’s to a successful 2011 season, Darya!

Track Beauty of the Week: Yelena Isinbayeva Елена Гаджиевна Исинбаева

Yelena Isinbayeva Елена Гаджиевна Исинбаева is this week’s track beauty!

Isinbayeva, without a doubt, has revolutionized the young event of women’s pole vaulting. She is a living legend of pole vaulting, in light of her dominance the past few years. Starting out as a gymnast, the Russian switched to pole vaulting when she grew too tall. She won her first major international medal at the 1999 World Youth Championships, clearing 4.10m. A year later, she followed this up with a World Junior title.

Photos from Wikipedia and kabatology

Success eluded the young Isinbayeva at the inaugural pole vault event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, failing to move out of the qualifying stages. Three years later, Isinbayeva cleared 4.82m, to set her first world record.

All-in-all, Isinbayeva had won 15 outdoor and 12 indoor titles including two Olympic golds. In the last two years, however, chinks in the Russian’s armor have started to show. In 2009, Isinbayeva fouled all her three attempts, months after becoming the first woman to clear 5.00 meters. A year later, the world record holder bombed out of the World Indoor Championships in Doha, prompting her to abruptly cut her 2010 season.

Truly, the stresses of being on the top could break even the most determined competitor’s frame of mind.

Since then, Isinbayeva has been recharging her batteries, taking time out from the sport. She is slated to make a comeback in early 2011.

Track Beauty of the Week: Fabiana Murer

Fabiana Murer is this week’s track beauty!

The Brazilian pole vaulter’s first major championship medal came at the 2008 World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain. The gymnast-turned-pole vaulter cleared 4.70m to grab the bronze medal. Despite leaps of 4.80m and 4.82m in 2008 and 2009, respectively, Murer failed to reprise her stellar form at the Beijing Olympics and Berlin World Championships, finishing 10th and 5th, respectively.

Photos from rankopedia.com, lazeresportes.com, esportesite.com.br and bloglog.globo.com

The South American record-holder’s breakout meet came at the 2010 World Indoor Championships, where an exhausted Yelena Isinbayeva (Murer’s occasional training partner) failed to make the podium. Murer outclassed the more experienced Svetlana Feofanova and an in-form Anna Rogowska, clearing 4.80m.

With personal bests of 4.85m outdoors and 4.82m indoors, Murer is definitely at the forefront of the pole vault elite. How the 29-year old Brazilian fares against a (hopefully) rejuvenated Isinbayeva come 2011 remains to be seen.

Additional links:


IAAF article

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