Yelena Isinbayeva

Yelena Isinbayeva during an award ceremony (Image Credits - Twitter)

Yelena Isinbayeva, also spelled as Elena Isinbaeva, is a Russian pole vaulter who set multiple world records and was the first woman in history to clear the 5-metre (16-foot 4.75-inch) mark. 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, and commonly regarded as the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time. Isinbayeva was elected IAAF Female Athlete of the Year in 2004, 2005, and 2008, and Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year in 2007 and 2009.

Junior Career

Yevgeny Trofimov, a pole vault coach, persuaded her to attempt the sport. Six months after starting pole vaulting, she achieved her first big triumph at the age of 16 in July 1998 at the World Youth Games in Moscow, Russia, with a height of 4.00 m. She leapt the same height at the 1998 World Junior Athletics Championships in Annecy, France, although she finished 10 cm short of a medal. She improved on this height in 1999, when she cleared 4.10 m to win her second gold medal at the 1999 World Youth Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Isinbayeva won the World Junior Athletics Championships in 2000, clearing 4.20 meters ahead of German Annika Becker. She broke both the indoor and outdoor junior world records in 2001.

Senior Career

The women’s pole vault made its Olympic debut in Sydney, Australia in 2000, with Stacy Dragila of the United States taking gold. Isinbayeva did not advance past the qualifying round in the same event. She continued to progress, and in 2002 she cleared 4.55 m at the European Athletics Championships, earning her first senior championship medal in  the form of a silver, finishing 5 cm behind compatriot Svetlana Feofanova. In 2003, Isinbayeva won gold at the European Under 23 Championships with a jump of 4.65 meters in Bydgoszcz). She set her maiden world record with a height of 4.82 m on July 13, 2003, only about a month after her 21st birthday, at a meeting in Gateshead, England. The following month, she won bronze in the 2003 World Athletics Championships. Isinbayeva then achieved a new indoor world record of 4.83 metres during a meeting in Donetsk, Ukraine.

In March, Isinbayeva shattered Feofanova’s record with a gold medal-winning jump of 4.86 m, beating reigning indoor and outdoor champion Feofanova into bronze and defending Olympic champion Dragila into silver. The IAAF (now World Athletics) considered all three marks to be overall (outdoor) records, hence the indoor and outdoor records were both reset to 4.86 m. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Isinbayeva won the gold with a new world record height of 4.91 m. Later that year, at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels, she smashed the mark with a 4.92 m leap, her eighth world record of the season.

She now holds the world record for the event and has won two gold medals at the Olympics and three gold medals at world championships. She has been a major champion nine times (Olympic, World outdoor and indoor champion and European outdoor and indoor champion). She also won the IAAF Golden League series jackpot in 2007 and 2009. In 2005, she became the first woman to break the five-meter barrier. She currently holds the outdoor record, which she achieved in August 2009 in Zurich at 5.06 meters. For just over a year, her 5.01 m indoors was the world record. She retired from athletics in August 2016 after being elected to the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission for an eight-year period and banned from competing at the Rio 2016.

Medals at Major Competitions

Event Total 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 3 2 0 1
World Championships 4 3 0 1
World Indoor Championships 5 4 1 0
World Cup 1 1 0 0
European Championships 2 1 1 0
European Indoor Championships 1 1 0 0
European U23 Championships 1 1 0 0
World Junior Championships 1 1 0 0
European Junior Championships 1 1 0 0
World Youth Championships 1 1 0 0

Net Worth

The net worth of Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva is reported to be in between 1 million and 5 million dollars. However, the exact amount is not known to us.

Childhood and Family

Isinbayeva was born on June 3, 1982, in Volgograd, Russia, to a Tabasaran father and a Russian mother.  Isinbayeva was enrolled in gymnastics school by her parents when she was four years old. However, a growth surge when she was fifteen left her too tall to participate competitively in the sport. She eventually dropped out of gymnastics because she became too tall to compete.

Isinbayeva married Nikita Petinov shortly before the birth of their daughter and held a wedding reception on December 12, 2014. Nikita who was also a competitive track and field athlete who competed internationally for Russia and Belgium.

Gallery

Yelena Isinbayeva with the pole vault (Image Credits: Twitter/ World Athletics)

Yelena Isinbayeva with the pole vault (Image Credits: Twitter/ World Athletics)

Yelena Isinbayeva in action in World Championships (Credits - Twitter)

Yelena Isinbayeva in action in World Championships (Credits - Twitter)

Yelena Isinbayeva in a file photo (Credits - Olympics.com)

Yelena Isinbayeva in a file photo (Credits - Olympics.com)

Yelena Isinbayeva in a file photo (Credits - World Athletics)

Yelena Isinbayeva in a file photo (Credits - World Athletics)