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Yelena Isinbayeva
Елена Исинбаева
Yelena Isinbayeva by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Isinbayeva in Moscow, 2013
Personal information
Full name Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva
Nationality Russian
Born 3 June 1982 (1982-06-03) (age 38)
Volgograd, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8+12 in)
Weight 65 kg (143 lb)
Sport
Country  Russia
Sport Track and field athletics
Event(s) Pole vault
Club CSKA Moscow
Coached by Yevgeny Trofimov
Retired 20 August 2016
Achievements and titles
World finals Outdoor: 2003, 2005, 2007
Indoor: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008
Regional finals Outdoor: 2002, 2006
Indoor: 2005
Olympic finals 2004, 2008
Highest world ranking 1st (2005–2009)
Personal best(s) Outdoor: 5.06 WR (2009)
indoor: 5.01 ER(2012)
Updated on 6 August 2012.

Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva (born 3 June 1982) is a Russian former pole vaulter. 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 in the event, and is widely considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time. Isinbayeva was banned from 2016 Rio Olympics after the appearance of an independent report about an extensive state-sponsored doping program in Russia, thus dashing her hopes of a grand retirement winning the Olympic gold medal. She retired from athletics in August 2016 after being elected to serve an 8-year term on the IOC's Athletes' Commission.

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 the 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. Her current world record is 5.06 m outdoors, set in Zurich in August 2009. Her 5.01 m indoors was the world record for just over a year. The latter was Isinbayeva's twenty-eighth pole vault world record. On 2 March 2013, Jenn Suhr joined Isinbayeva as the only women who have cleared 5 metres. In the process, Suhr took Isinbayeva's indoor 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. In 2007 she entered in the FICTS "Hall of Fame" and was awarded with "Excellence Guirlande D'Honneur". She was given the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports in 2009. She is one of only nine athletes (along with Valerie Adams, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jacques Freitag, Kirani James, Jana Pittman, Dani Samuels, and David Storl) to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event.

Personal life

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 University.

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 2008.

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.

On 7 February 2014, Isinbayeva, while pregnant, was one of the final torch bearers for the 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. She has one child, Eva, born 28 June 2014. She married Eva's father, javelin thrower Nikita Petinov (b. 1990) shortly before their daughter's birth and had a wedding celebration on 12 December 2014.

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