Gold medalBronze medal

Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva (Russian: Елена Гаджиевна Исинбаева, Elena Gadžievna Isinbaeva) (born 3 June 1982) is a Russian pole vaulter. She is twice an Olympic gold medalist (2004 and 2008), a five-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.

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 seven athletes (along with Valerie Adams, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jacques Freitag, Jana Pittman, Dani Samuels) to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event.

She began 2012 with a clearance of 4.70 m at the Governor's Cup in Volgograd.[1] At the 2012 Olympic Games, she easily qualified for the finals, where she became third with 4.70 m. She considered the bronze medal as success but mentioned that she would like to retire as acting Olympic champion.[2] During the London Games she caused surprise and amusement in Britain when she was reported to have told Russian TV that the people of the UK were not interested in the Olympic Games and many Londoners were not even aware they were happening in their city. [3]


  1. Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov (21 January 2012). Isinbayeva clears 4.70m in Volgograd. IAAF. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  2. Калашников, Иван. Елена Исинбаева: «Вы хотите сказать, кто-то прыгает лучше меня? Абсурд!» (Russian). Retrieved on 7 August 2012.
  3. BBC Sport - London 2012 Olympics: Day 12 afternoon session. (8 August 2012). Retrieved on 17 August 2012.