Yelena Isinbayeva at the DKB-ISTAF press conference (Bob Ramsak) © Copyright
General News Berlin, Germany

Isinbayeva – No promises, but ‘I will try’ for World record - ÅF Golden League

Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS), the reigning Olympic and World champion in the Pole Vault, took part in this afternoon’s international press conference on the eve of the DBK-ISTAF Meeting, the first leg of the six-meeting ÅF Golden League series. In 2007, Isinbayeva shared the $1 million Jackpot with American 400m record holder Sanya Richards. Last year, she raised her own World record on three occasions, the first time at her season debut at Rome’s Golden Gala ÅF Golden League fixture.

On aiming for the Jackpot in 2009:

“Of course I’m very excited about being here and competing for the Jackpot again. But it’s not going to be so easy. I usually start my season in July, because I need that much time between the indoor and outdoor seasons to prepare. But I’m in good shape, just not my best shape.”

“My first goal is to win, and then I will try for a world record. But I won’t promise a world record. We’ll see what will happen tomorrow. But I know what I need to do to win.”

On how high she plans to take the World record, which currently stands at 5.05m:

“Of course, 5.05 is not my limit, my plan is to go forward. Our plan is to set two or three world records, and if I manage to do more, that will be perfect. For tomorrow I cannot say, but the plan is to set a world record when I defend my title in Berlin at the World championships."

On her competitors:

"Of course, they all remain dangerous. They are always improving, they’re always trying to beat me, always trying to jump higher. During competitions I always pay attention to how they’re jumping so I can plan some tactics. But mostly I focus on myself. But I always wish my rivals well in competition and I want them to jump higher because it motivates me to jump higher. It’s always better to jump against someone instead of myself. To jump against myself is much harder."

On her motivation:

"Every year it becomes harder and harder to start. Because the training is so difficult and you always have to push yourself harder. I’m getting older and not younger."

"My big motivation right now is my new contract with Li Ning. The Chinese people treat me so good, they treat me like a Queen. So that is a big motivation."

"I also like to be a role model. A lot of children write me emails and letters and tell me that they want me to keep competing. That they started the pole vault because of me, and that they want to be like me. And that’s very important to me and I really like to be in that position. But every year it does get harder and harder."

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF