Top Six most Beautiful Women Pole Vaulters in the World
Yelena Isinbayeva-(Russia): Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva was born on 3 June
1982. She is a Russian pole vaulter. She is twice an Olympic gold medalist (2004
and 2008), a two-time World Champion and the current world record holder in the
event. As a result of her accomplishments, she is widely considered the greatest
female pole-vaulter of all time.
Isinbayeva has been a major champion on nine occasions (Olympic, World outdoor
and indoor champion and European outdoor and indoor champion). She was also the
jackpot winner of the IAAF Golden League series in 2007 and 2009. After poor
performances at world championships in 2009 and 2010, she took a year-long break
from the sport.
She became the first woman to clear the five-metre barrier in 2005. Isinbayeva's
current world records are 5.06 m outdoors, a record Isinbayeva set in Zurich in
August 2009, and 5.01 m indoors, a record set in February 2012.The latter was
Isinbayeva's twenty-eighth pole vault world record. As of 2012, she remains the
only woman to clear five meters.
Isinbayeva was named Female Athlete of the Year by the IAAF in 2004, 2005 and
2008, and World Sportswoman of the Year by Laureus in 2007 and 2009. She was
given the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports in 2009. She is one of only eight
athletes (along with Valerie Adams, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jacques
Freitag, Jana Pittman, Dani Samuels, and David Storl) to win world championships
at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event.
Born to a Tabasaran father and a Russian mother in Volgograd, Isinbayeva trained
as a gymnast from the age of 5 to 15. She ultimately left the sport because as
she grew she was considered too tall to be competitive in gymnastics, ultimately
attaining a height of 1.74 m (5' 8½").
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. It was her third athletic competition. She jumped the same height at the
1998 World Junior Championships in Annecy, France, but this left her 10 cm away
from the medal placings.
In 1999, Isinbayeva improved on this height at the World Youth Championships in
Bydgoszcz, Poland when she cleared 4.10 m to take her second gold medal.
At the 2000 World Juniors Isinbayeva again took first place clearing 4.20 m
ahead of German Annika Becker. The same year the women's pole vault made its
debut as an Olympic event in Sydney, Australia where Stacy Dragila of the United
States took gold. In the same event Isinbayeva did not make it out of the
She won another gold medal in 2001, this time at the European Junior
Championships with a winning height of 4.40 m.
Isinbayeva continued to improve and 2002 saw her clear 4.55 m at the European
Championships, where she gained her first senior championship medal (silver),
finishing 5 cm short of her compatriot Svetlana Feofanova.
2003 was another year of progression and saw Isinbayeva win the European Under
23 Championships gold with 4.65 m (in Bydgoszcz). On 13 July 2003, just about a
month after her 21st birthday, Isinbayeva set her first World Record at a
meeting in Gateshead, England with a height of 4.82 m, which had made her the
favourite to take gold at the World Championships the following month. She ended
up winning the bronze medal with Feofanova taking gold and Becker the silver.
At a meeting at Donetsk, Ukraine, Isinbayeva set a new indoor world record, with
a height of 4.83 m only to see Feofanova increase this by two centimetres the
The following month at the World's Indoor in March Isinbayeva broke Feofanova's
record with a gold medal winning jump of 4.86 m beating reigning indoor &
outdoor champion Feofanova into bronze with reigning Olympic champion Dragila
taking silver. The IAAF considered all three records to be over-all (outdoor)
records, hence the indoor and outdoor records now stood at 4.86 m 27 June saw
Isinbayeva return to Gateshead and improved the world record to 4.87 m.
Feofanova responded the following week by breaking the record by a centimetre in
On 25 July in Birmingham, England, Isinbayeva reclaimed the record jumping 4.89
m and five days later in Crystal Palace, London, added a further centimetre to
At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Isinbayeva won gold medal with a new
world record height of 4.91 m. She subsequently broke the record later that year
at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels with a 4.92 m jump, her eighth world
record of the season. Isinbayeva was named World Athlete of the Year for winning
the Olympic & World Indoor title and breaking the World record eight times.
At the European Indoor Championships in Madrid, Spain Isinbayeva won gold with a
new indoor world record of 4.90 m. In July 2005, Isinbayeva broke the world
record four times over three separate meetings. First in Lausanne, Switzerland,
she added an extra centimetre to her own mark clearing 4.93 m. It was the 14th
world record of Isinbayeva's career coming just three months after she broke her
own indoor mark (4.89 m) in Lievin. Eleven days later, in Madrid, Spain, she
added an additional 2 cm to clear 4.95 m. In Crystal Palace, London on 22 July,
after improving the record to 4.96 m, she raised the bar to 5.00 m. She then
became the first woman in history to clear the once mythical five-metre barrier
in pole vaulting, achieving the monumental mark with a single attempt.
After the women's pole vault final at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki,
Finland was delayed due to extremely bad weather conditions, Isinbayeva once
again broke her own world record, performing 5.01 m in her second attempt, and
winning the competition with a 41 cm margin of victory, which was the greatest
margin ever obtained in any World or Olympic competition for the event. This was
already the eighteenth world record in the career of the then 23-year-old
Isinbayeva and her successful season was crowned with her second consecutive
World Athlete of the Year award.
At an indoor meeting on 12 February in Donetsk, Ukraine, Isinbayeva set a new
indoor world record. She cleared 4.91 m. In March she successfully defended her
World Indoor title in front of a homeland crowd in Moscow, Russia. During the
2006 European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg she won the gold medal with
a CR of 4.80 metres. This was the only gold medal missing from her collection
until that time. In September she won the World Cup, representing Russia, in
Isinbayeva was crowned Laureus World Sports Woman of the Year for the 2006
On 10 February 2007 in Donetsk, Ukraine, Isinbayeva broke the world indoor pole
vault record again, by clearing 4.93 metres. It was Isinbayeva's 20th world
On 28 August 2007 Isinbayeva repeated as world champion in Osaka at the 2007
World Championships in Athletics with a 4.80 m performance, then failed three
times at setting a new world record at 5.02 m. Her competition did no better
than 4.75 m.
In 2007 she also won the IAAF Golden League Jackpot (which she shared with Sanya
Richards) after having won all 2007 IAAF Golden League meetings. Isinbayeva was
unbeaten in the 2007 season and won 18 out of 18 competitions.
During the indoor 2008 season, Isinbayeva set her twenty-first world record,
clearing 4.95 metres on 16 February 2008 in Donetsk, Ukraine. A few weeks later,
in Valencia, Spain, Isinbayeva won the World Indoor Championships over Jennifer
Stuczynski. It was Isinbayeva's third consecutive World Indoor title.
On 11 July, at her first outdoor competition of the season, Rome's Golden Gala,
Isinbayeva broke her own world record, clearing 5.03 metres. This was her first
world record outdoors since the 2005 World Championships. Isinbayeva stated that
she had tried 5.02 metres so many times unsuccessfully that her coach told her
to change something and so she attempted 5.03 metres. This record came just as
people began to speculate her fall from the top of pole vaulting, as American
Jennifer Stuczynski cleared 4.92 metres at the American Olympic Trials.
Isinbayeva stated that this motivated her to maintain her reputation as the
world's greatest female pole vaulter.A few weeks later, at the Aviva London
Grand Prix, Isinbayeva and Stuczynski competed together for the first time of
the outdoor season. Isinbayeva won the competition, with Stuczynski finishing
second. Both attempted a new world record of 5.04 metres. Isinbayeva was
tantalizingly close on her final attempt, with the bar falling only after
Isinbayeva had landed on the mat.
She successfully cleared that height on 29 July, in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, her
twenty-third world record.A 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing on 18 August,
Isinbayeva needed two vaults to prolong her Olympic title reign and went on to
finish the competition with 5.05m, a world record at the time, her 24th world
On 23 November in Monaco, she was selected World Athlete of the Year by the IAAF
for the third time in her career, along with Jamaican male sprinter Usain Bolt.
Setting 28 world records (15 outdoor and 13 indoor), staying virtually unbeaten
between 2004 and 2009 (winning nine straight gold medals in indoor and outdoor
and being elected IAAF World Athlete of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2008,
Isinbayeva has established herself as one of the most successful athletes of her
In August 2005, top UK pole vault coach Steve Rippon said to the BBC that "she
is one of the few female pole vaulters I look at and think her technique is as
good as the men's.
In fact, the second part of her jump is probably better than any male pole
vaulter currently competing. She has a fantastic technique, she's quite tall
(almost 5ft 9in) and she runs extremely well."
These statements are confirmed by close observation of her jumps; in detail,
Isinbayeva's high level of body control (courtesy of her gymnastics background)
especially pays off in the so-called "L-Phase", where it is vital to use the
pole's rebound to convert horizontal speed into height. Common mistakes are
getting rebounded away in an angle (rather than vertically up) or inability to
keep the limbs stiff, both resulting in loss of vertical speed and therefore
less height. In Isinbayeva's case, her L-Phase is exemplary.
Her father, Gadzhi Gadzhiyevich Isinbayev, is a plumber and a member of a small
(200,000-people strong) ethnic group of Tabasarans who mostly live in Dagestan.
Her mother, a shop assistant, is Russian. Isinbayeva also has a sister named
Inna. Isinbayeva came from humble beginnings and remembers that her parents had
to make many financial sacrifices in her early career.
She has both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree after graduating from the
Volgograd State Academy of Physical Culture. Currently she is continuing her
post-graduate studies there and also studying at the Donetsk National Technical
In the Russian club competitions she represents the railroad military team; she
is formally an officer in the Russian army, and on 4 August 2005 she was given
military rank of senior lieutenant before being promoted to captain in August
She features in Toshiba ads promoting their entire product line in Russia. She
also appears in a Lady's Speed Stick advertisement in Russia.
On 2 December 2010 she gave a speech before the FIFA delegates in Zürich. Later
on that occasion it was announced that Russia will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Yelena Isinbayeva is now a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of
54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport,
created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
Her latest achievements:
1st – 4.81 m – Russian Winter Meeting, Moscow, Russia
1st – 4.85 m – Pole Vault Stars, Donetsk, Ukraine
1st – 4.60 m – Night of Athletics, Heusden, Belgium
1st – 4.76 m – Diamond League, Stockholm, Sweden
6th – 4.65 m – World Championships, Daegu, South Korea 2012
1st – 5.01 m – XL-Galan, Stockholm, Sweden
1st – 4.80 m – World Indoor Championships, Istanbul, Turkey
3rd – 4.70 m – Summer Olympic, London, Great Britain
Dated 08 December 2012