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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Yelena Isinbayeva............ vaults to Gold at Moscow

Most of my friends are so fascinated about Cricket that we tend to see even listless matches………… the other day we were discussing of the news that the ground for the 4th test of the present Ashes series - Chester-le-Street at Durham has a capacity of 12000 – crowds more than that used to come to Chepauk for good Ranji ties involving the home side and perhaps many thousands turned up regularly for the Buchibabu Invitation tournament which would occur during mid Aug every year.

Elsewhere it is the 14th  World Championships in Athletics  being held in Moscow, Russia from 10–18 August 2013.  As usual the dash - the sprint - 100M occupied the centrestage  with Usain Bolt dominating and prompty reclaiming the  championship gold he lost through a false start in South Korea two years ago.  I had also posted about  the long distance 10000M where  Tirunesh Dibaba made a golden start in her quest for a long—distance double. The Ethiopian confirmed herself as one of the greatest long—distance runners in history regaining  IAAF World Championships 10,000m title after a six year hiatus with a blistering 59.96 last lap to shake off all challengers. 

Lot more were to happen in Moscow ~ especially for the home crowds who came in large numbers expecting something and went back home happy.  The biggest crowd of the championships, more than were inside Luzhniki Stadium to watch Usain Bolt win the 100m final on Sunday, came to see Russian Pole Vault diva Yelena Isinbayeva claim her third IAAF World Championships title ~ as most likely it could be for the final time they see her performing.  There were distance finals, sprint finals, throws finals, and even a race walk, but Tuesday was the day Yelena Isinbayeva wrote, stage managed, and played the starring role at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. Isinbayeva did not have the best start, with misses at her opening height of 4.65m and 4.82m, but her first-attempt clearance at 4.89m – a height neither silver medallist Jenn Suhr nor bronze medallist Yarisley Silva could clear – sealed victory and a third World Championships gold for the Russian heroine.

The Pole Vault was going to be a highlight from the beginning, with a bigger crowd in the stadium than attended Sunday night for the men’s 100m final, mostly packed at the first bend to watch the Pole Vault. It started early, and Isinbayeva’s habitual passing to late heights, early misses, and eventual theatrics made it a thrilling ride for those looking for it. She asked, discreetly, for more noise when on the runway, and for less when other events were on the track, and for the most part she got what she asked for.

The once-invincible ice queen of the pole vault, reprising her diva best after five years without a global title, milked every moment of a fairytale comeback, winning a third title to quite bring the championships to life in a way even Mr Bolt would have envied. On the best-attended night of the championships, 40,000 were treated to the 31-year-old at her theatrical finest; entreating the crowd to make more noise, flirting with knowing, mischievous gestures to the camera before finally celebrating victory with all her old extravagant gymnast’s cartwheeling elan.  Of course, it was not quite enough for her. After her lean years of lost confidence and a long sabbatical, the world record holder was determined to savour the limelight a bit longer, having three half-hearted attempts at adding a 29th global mark, of 5.07m, to her unmatched resume.

She responded finely to  the chants of “Yelena, Yelena” from the adoring audience to produce her best outdoor jump in four years with a towering first-attempt clearance at 4.89m. It sent the stadium into hysteria.

One would recall that  following her Olympic triumph in Athens in 2004, she left to train with Sergey Bubka’s mentor Vitaly Petrov in Italy, a move which delivered continued success until she effectively ran out of steam in 2010. Then after being away for few months, she has now returned to the top of the world. She will be Mayor of one of the Athletes Villages for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, in what she describes as a big year.

Here at Moscow the veteran at 31 was competing at her sixth World Championships, seeking to add a third gold medal to her collection ~ she performed before her home crowds which had built up so much of expectation.  Defending champion Fabiana Murer could not clear 4.75m though and exited the competition, the Brazilian only managing a best of 4.65m. The  4.89m gave Isinbayeva  the medal.  She upped the bar to 5.07m, a would-be World record. Her three failed attempts were respectable, but tonight wasn’t about records. It was about putting on a show to her legions of loyal fans that had supported her over the years through her many World records and gold medals; this, undoubtedly, being the most memorable of those.

Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva (born1982) is a Russian pole vaulter. She is twice an Olympic gold medalist (2004 and 2008), a three-time World Champion and the current world record holder in the event. She is widely considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time. She became the first woman to clear the five-metre barrier in 2005. Isinbayeva's current world record is 5.06 m outdoors, a record Isinbayeva set in Zurich in August 2009.

The champion in Men’s is ~ Sergey Bubka from  Ukraine. He represented the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991, was repeatedly voted the world's best athlete. Bubka won six consecutive IAAF World Championships, an Olympics gold and broke the world record for men's pole vaulting 35 times.  He was the first to clear 6.0 metres and the only (as of  now) to clear 6.10 metres (20 ft) holding the  current outdoor world record of 6.14 metres, (20 feet 13⁄4 inches), set on 31 July 1994 in Sestriere, Italy  and the current indoor world record of 6.15 meters, set on 21 February 1993 in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Pole vaulting is a track and field event in which a person uses a long, flexible pole (which today is usually made either of fiber glass or carbon fiber) as an aid to leap over a bar. Pole jumping competitions were known to the ancient Greeks, Cretans and Celts. It has been a full medal event at the Olympic Games since 1896 for men and 2000 for women.  Those who have cleared more than 6M include ! Rodion Gataullin [Russia]; Okkert Brits [SA]; Igor Trandenkov [Russia]; Tim Lobinger [Germany]……….

In woman, Yelena Isinbayeva is the only to have cleared 5 M, Jenn Suhr of US is the closest with 4.92M; followed by Svetlana Feofanova of Russis 4.88M.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Aug 2013.

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