13th February 2009

Isinbayeva On Target


13 February 2009

Olympic pole-vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva has her eyes set on another record when she competes at the NIA next weekend.

The Russian last competed in the city in 2007 but happily recalls competing there in 2005:

“Last time I jumped indoors in Birmingham was 2007 but the best memory I have is back in 2005 when I broke the world record with 4.88m.

And is claiming she’s in even better shape than last year:

 “I started my autumn training in the beginning of November which was a little later than planned but everything has gone fine, my coach says I am stronger and better in almost everything I do compared to last year.”

She is relishing the chance to perform in front of the British crowd again:

“I find the English crowd very educated and they really understand athletics. That’s why I always find extra motivation to compete well in Great Britain.”

And is looking forward to 2009, more competition and achieving her goals:

“My aim this year is to stay healthy and keep on raising the bar to new record levels. My biggest competitor is myself but of course I wish everyone else to jump well too because that will push me to jump even higher and ensure I defend my gold medal at the World Championships in Berlin.”

In Beijing, the Russian needed merely two vaults to prolong her reign as Olympic champion and went on to finish it in style by clearing 5.05m, her 24th world record but hardly had time to celebrate:

“My season did not end after Beijing, there were meetings in Europe and I returned the Super GP Meet in Shanghai and also the international meeting in Daegu, South Korea. After that I finally was able to take some holiday which I think I deserved!”

The World, Olympic and European champion competes for the sixth time at the NIA and the Birmingham public may just see another record broken.

Tickets for the Aviva Grand Prix at the NIA, Birmingham on Saturday 21st February are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk