Yelena Isinbayeva is a Russian former pole vaulter. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2004 and 2008), a three-time World Champion (2005, 2007, and 2013), the current world record holder in the event, and is widely considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time. Yelena Isinbayeva was banned from the Rio 2016 Olympics after revelations of an extensive state-sponsored doping program in Russia, thus dashing her hopes of a grand retirement after winning the Olympic gold medal. She retired from athletics in August 2016 after being elected to serve an 8-year term on the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission.

Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva was born on June 3, 1982, in Volgograd, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. She trained gymnastics from the age of 5 to 15, before moving to the athletics. Six months after having taken up pole-vaulting she won her first major victory at age 16 during the 1998 World Youth Games in Moscow, Russia with a height of 4.00 m. One year later she won the gold at World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz. Within her youth career she won the 2000 World Junior Championships in Santiago, the 2001 European Junior Championships in Grosseto, and the 2003 European U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz.

Yelena Isinbaeva pole vault athlete

Yelena Isinbayeva has two gold (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008) and one bronze (London 2012) Olympic honors. She is also four times World Indoor Champion in 2004 Budapest, 2006 Moscow, 2008 Valencia, and 2012 Istanbul, and three times World Champion in 2005 Helsinki, 2007 Osaka, and 2013 Moscow.

Her personal best are 5.06m WR (2009) for outdoors and 5.01m ER (2012) for indoors.

Yelena Isinbayeva won also the World Cup in Athens in 2006, European Championships in Gothenburg in 2006 and European Indoor Championships in Madrid in 2005.

She is definitely one of the most remarkable pole vaulters of all time, winning Olympic and World golds, holding the world record, and being the top athlete in the world.

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