Beijing Perspective: Isinbeyeva Again, World & Olympic Records in Beijing, by Bob Ramsak, Comments by Larry Eder


Yelena Isinbayeva took two attempts to take gold, five to set Olympic record and three more to break world record. Isinbayeva is global branding at its best. She is fashionable, she is extremely competitive, she is most dominating athlete in a track event. When Yelena noted she will prepare for London 2012, watch her get Sergey Bubka's 34 world records in the pole vault and surpass.

An aside, last night while on the bus, I met Rodion Gatullin, the Russian pole vault Olympic medalist, now Pole vault national coach for Russia. When I asked Gatullin how high Yelena could jump, he smiled and said, " Very high."



By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

BEIJING – Yelena Isinbayeva broke the world record in the pole vault for the second straight Olympic Games, capping the fourth day of action at the National Stadium in the Chinese Capital.

Competing before a capacity crowd, the Russian defended her title with a leap of 5.05m (16-6 ¾ ), adding a centimetre to her own 5.04m record set last month at the Herculis Super Grand Prix in Monaco.

“I was trying to do my best for the crowd,” said the 26-year-old after setting her 24th world mark. “I felt that I could not go without a world record because of the support the crowd gave me.” Success came on her third attempt, although her second was reasonably close as well.

The majority of the half dozen other competitors who remained in the competition were already struggling when Isinbayeva opened at 4.70m, a massive clearance by some 30cm that clearly illustrated that a World record would be a possibility.

She had already clinched the gold with her second jump, a clean effort at 4.85m. Next came an assault on her four-year-old Olympic record of 4.91m, which she managed on her third try at 4.95m.

“I remembered my feelings from Athens and I wanted to feel that again.”

Isinabayeva is now a dozen records shy of overtaking men’s Pole Vault legend World record haul of 35, and she reiterated that she’ll keeping going until she gets there.

“Yes, I will do it. I have just 12 more to go. Life would be boring without records to break.”

According to script, American record holder Jenn Stuczynski took the silver, topping out at 4.80m with one solid attempt at 4.90.

Isinbayeva was asked about the American’s comments earlier in the summer that she would beat her at the Olympic Games.

“You saw tonight what happened,” Isinbayeva said. “Sometimes people talk too much.”

4.75m was enough for silver four years ago; here it was needed to strike bronze. Athens silver medallist Svetlana Feofanova finished third on the countback with Yuliya Golubchikova who needed a pair of tries before going clear, adding two centimetres to her personal best.

Pre-meet medal favourite Fabiana Murer of Brazil, who upped her career best to 4.80m this summer, made an early exit, though the blame wasn’t apparently her own. After sailing over her 4.45m opener, she realized that the pole she needed for her next height, 4.55m, was missing. After a delay of several minutes, her search went in vain and she chose to skip the height, expending considerable energy in the process.


Despite a string of injury and inconsistency since a 8.73m leap in may thrust him into the all-time top-10, Irving Saladino came through to take the long jump title with a relatively modest 8.34m jump.

His was the first gold medal for Panama, adding to his triumph at the world championships in Osaka last summer.

South African Godfrey Mokoena took the silver with an 8.24m best, while Cuban newcomer Ibrahim Camejo came through with an 8.20m leap to take the bronze.

Besides the boycotted Moscow Games in 1980, Beijing marked the first time that a long jump final was contested without an American.


After a three-day dry spell, the U.S. finally won it’s first gold, and it came in the most unexpected of ways. The American No. 3 in the event, Stephanie Brown Trafton led from start-to-finish to take surprise gold in the women’s discus throw.

Her opening round effort, a modest 64.74m (212-5) held up for the first American gold in the event since 1932. In a sub-par competition, it was the shortest winning throw since 1968.

Cuban Yarelys Barrios was second with a 63.64m (208-9) with Olena Antonova of Ukraine third (62.59m/205-4).

On Tuesday, field event finals will be contested in the men’s high jump and discus throw.


Used with permission of Bob Ramsak,

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required