(Reuters) – Double Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva is considering putting her retirement plans on hold after winning only bronze behind American Jennifer Suhr at the London Games on Monday.
The world record-holder had previously maintained that she would quit the sport after the 2013 world championships in her native Russia but talked animatedly about competing at the Olympics in Rio during the medal winners’ news conference.
“My plan was to get a gold medal here in London and then retire but I don’t want to retire with a bronze medal so maybe I will think about Rio so at least I can get my gold medal there in Rio and then decide,” Isinbayeva said.
“This is what I’m thinking about.”
The 30-year-old laughingly went on to add: “Actually my decision is changing every day.
“I am twins – today I say ‘I will stop’, I will wake up tomorrow and say ‘I will continue’.”
Isinbayeva has lost her air of invincibility since Beijing where she set a world record when winning gold.
Plagued by injury and poor form and after failing to register a height in the 2009 world championships, she decided to take a break from the sport, returning last year after an 11-month absence.
She won the world indoors in March for her first major title since the 2008 Olympics but admitted her buildup for London had been disrupted in May by a torn muscle in her left thigh.
“I was not able to run or jump for two months so I couldn’t do any competitions,” she said.
“I did Sotteville and Monte Carlo but of course it was not enough and I was taking a risk if my injury got worse.
“So for me this bronze is like a gold.”