Yelena Isinbayeva flies 4.82 in Berlin (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Donetsk, Ukraine

Isinbayeva’s season opener in Donetsk - PREVIEW

World and Olympic champion, and World record holder Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia will make her seasonal debut this weekend (Sat 16) at the Zepter Pole Vault Stars meeting in Donetsk. The event is as usual an EA Indoor Permit meeting.

Despite not having competed since 3 October 2007 (4.80m Ist place in Daegu, Korea), Isinbayeva has been pre-selected for the Russian squad for next month’s 12th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain (7 – 9 March), where she will defend the title she won in Moscow in 2006. In fact, the 25-year-old will be aiming for her third consecutive World Indoor title in Spain.

In Donetsk on the 10 February last year she set a new World indoor record of 4.93m, a mark which was of course below her outdoor record of 5.01m (2005). Her indoor PB was to be a performance in 2007 which she was not to match outdoors with her best clearance being 4.91 in Paris (6 July).

The Ukrainian meet is of course run by the greatest ever pole vaulter, Sergey Bubka, who though retired from the sport as an athlete and now Senior Vice-President of the IAAF remains the men’s World record holder for the event.

Isinbayeva has been very successful on the Donetsk runway, so far having set five World records at the venue, and with a US$50,000 prize and a full house of spectators to cheer her on whose to say what events will unfold on Saturday?!

Russia’s world season leader Yelena Golubchikova with 4.75m, just last night in Athens, and the Polish duo of Monika Pyrek and Anna Rogowska are her main 'challengers' though that word is perhaps redundant in a pole vaulting world where Isinbayeva is peerless.

There is also a men’s competition with recently crowned Russian champion Yevgeniy Lukyanenko (5.85m) heading the line-up. 

Vitaliy Bubka and Chris Turner for the IAAF

Entry List

Women
Yelena Isinbayeva RUS  
Monika Pyrek POL  
Anastacia Shvedova RUS  
Tatyana Polnova RUS  
Yuliya Golubchikova RUS  
Fabiana Murer BRA  
Carolin Hingst GER  
Anna Rogowska POL  
Silke Spiegelburg GER  
Julia Hütter GER  
Natalya Kushch UKR  
Katharine Larsasen NOR  
Lisa Ryzih GER  
   
Men  
Spas Bukhalov BUL  
Igor Pavlov RUS  
Yevgeniy Lukyanenko RUS  
Aleksandr Averbukh ISR  
Fábio Gomes da Silva BRA  
Maksym Mazuryk UKR  
Derek Miles USA  
Denys Yurchenko UKR  
Przemyslaw Czerwinski POL  
Alhaji Jeng SWE  
Toby Stevenson USA  
Germán Chiaraviglio ARG  
Pavel Gerasimov RUS