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Pole vault queen Isinbayeva says daughter more important than Olympic gold

September 29, 2014, 16:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Yelena Isinbayeva announced a break in her sports career last year to focus on family, but hinted on her possible comeback at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil
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Yelena Isinbayeva

Yelena Isinbayeva

© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinsky

MOSCOW, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva said on Monday that no matter how desirable another Olympic gold could be, the issue of her daughter’s well-being is by far more important than any medal.

Two-time Olympic Champion Isinbayeva, announced a break in her sports career last year, saying she wanted to focus on family, but at the same time hinted on her possible comeback at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. She is currently residing in Monte Carlo, where on June 28th she gave birth to her daughter Eva.

In an interview given to the press service of the All-Russia Athletic Federation, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Champion Isinbayeva said her personal trainer Yevgeny Trofimov had already made a plan of her practice in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“However, all my time now is devoted to Eva and everything would depend on the way she feels. We are returning home in the nearest future,” Isinbayeva, who comes from the Russian city of Volgograd, said.

“We have initially planned with my husband to return to Volgograd when Eva is three months old,” she said. “I will try to do light warm-ups upon my return home, but the issue of full-fledged practices is completely out of the question while I breastfeed Eva.”

“I really want to win the third Olympic gold and will do everything possible for it, but the health of my daughter is above everything,” the 32-year-old athlete said. “She is the biggest victory of my lifetime.”

Isinbayeva is also the three-time World Champion (2005, 2007 and 2013) and, having set a total of 28 world records, she is currently considered the greatest female pole vault athletes of all time.

She was the first woman ever to clear the five-meter height jump, having achieved the result in 2005. Her current outdoor record of 5.06 meters, set in August of 2009 in Zurich, remains unbeaten. Her indoor world record of 5.01 meters, set in Stockholm in February of 2012, remained undefeated for over a year, when in March of 2013 US pole-vaulter Jenn Suhr broke it with the 5.02 meters result to become the second female athlete to ever clear the five-meter mark.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) named Isinbayeva the Female Athlete of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2008. In all, she is the champion on nine major occasions, which are the champion’s titles at the Olympic, World Outdoor and Indoor, as well as European Outdoor and Indoor competitions.

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