MOSCOW: Russia’s pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva said on Wednesday she was anxious to see how the Olympics in Rio would be unfolding, but would abstain from watching track and field competitions.
“I will be undoubtedly following the developments at the Olympic Games, except for track and field competitions,” Isinbayeva said in an interview with TASS.
“I will root for the entire national team since the recent antagonism has banded us all together,” the two-time Olympic champion, who has been barred from the 2016 Rio Olympics by the world athletics body IAAF’s decision, added.
Isinbayeva, a triple world champion (2005, 2007 and 2013) having set a total of 28 world records, is currently considered the greatest female pole vaulter of all time.
She was the first woman ever to clear the five-metre height jump having achieved the result in 2005. Her current outdoor record of 5.06 metres, set in August 2009 in Zurich, remains unsurpassed.
Her indoor world record of 5.01 metres, set in Stockholm in February 2012, remained unbeaten for over a year, when in March of 2013 United States pole vaulter, Jenn Suhr broke it with a 5.02-metre record to become the second female athlete to ever clear the five-meter mark.
The IAAF named Isinbayeva the Female Athlete of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2008. In all, she has been champion on nine major occasions, which include champion titles at the Olympics, World Outdoor and Indoor, as well as European Outdoor and Indoor competitions.
On June 17, the IAAF Council ruled it was still too early to restore All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF)’s membership, subsequently extending the suspension of Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games.