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Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Friday, 23 July 2010 14:32 UK

Yelena Isinbayeva to make competitive comeback in 2011

Yelena Isinbayeva

Isinbayeva missed out on a medal at the 2009 World Championships

Double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva says she will return to competitive athletics next year after taking some time out from sport.

In April the 28-year-old said she was taking an indefinite break after failing to win a medal at the previous month's World Indoor Championships.

"A break was necessary for me. I was under too much pressure," she said.

"But now I feel refreshed and motivated. I will be back for the 2011 winter season."

Isinbayeva won gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and a year later became the first woman to clear the five-metre mark in Helsinki.

I have missed on the normal life other young women live. Now that I've seen it, I can say that normal life is really boring

Elena Isinbayeva

Gold medals at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships followed before she successfully defended her Olympic crown in Beijing in 2008.

Also that year she completed a hat-trick of World Indoor victories in Valencia.

In 2009, she became the first woman to vault over five metres indoors at a meeting in Donetsk, and was named the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.

But the world record-holder has struggled to meet her own high standards in the months before her temporary withdrawal, with her performance at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin being a particular disappointment.

She failed to achieve a successful vault, with Poland's Anna Rogowska taking her world title.

Although Isinbayeva recovered from that setback by setting a new outdoor world record of 5.06m in Zurich, she had another disappointment at the World Indoors in Qatar in March 2010, only managing to clear 4.45m, with Brazil's Fabiana Murer being crowned champion.

She said the experience of losing her world title had given her a fresh perspective on life, and that life away from competitive athletics was boring, so she wanted to compete for as long as possible.

"I really understood that to be a world champion is a huge moment," she said.

"Having competed all these years, I have missed on the normal life other young women live. Now that I've seen it, I can say that normal life is really boring.

"I'd like to continue in sport as long as possible."



see also
Isinbayeva rules out Euro return
09 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Isinbayeva takes pole vault break
10 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics
Isinbayeva sets pole vault record
28 Aug 09 |  Athletics


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