Yelena Isinbayeva: Fitness Questions? by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Isinbayeva_YelenaQ-WorldInd10.jpg                       Pole Vault Queen, Yelena Isinbayeva, photo by
Vitaly  Petrov, is, if not the best, one of the best coaches of the pole vault on our small planet. Besides Sergei Bubka, who was one of his students during his formative years, Petrov has coached many other great vaulters, including Yelena Isinbayeva.

Petrov, in recent statements on the Russian Federation website, cast some questions on the fitness level of Yelena Isinbayeva, the current world record holder in the women's pole vault. Petrov pulls no punches. It seems that Yelena has not had enough indoor training sessions to give Petrov confidence in her fitness.

Yelena Isinbayeva is one of the most popular athletes in our sport, and her twenty-four world records in the pole vault, and Olympic and World Championship medals attest to her position at the top of the women's pole vault. The last two years, have been, however, difficult.

The pole vault is one of our most challenging events. It is also one of the most technical. Petrov's program combines gymnastics, core training and strong technical work. In past, successful buildups, Isinbayeva has not jumped until early Spring training.

Our sport is quite competitive and it is a testament to the evolution in the women's pole vault that vaulters from Brazil, Germany, the US, and Russia, are challenging Isinbayeva. Only time will tell if Yelena can remain the top vaulter in the world. 

Perhaps 1972 Olympic gold medalist and 1976 Olympic silver medalist Frank Shorter said it best, when he noted prior to the 1980 Olympic marathon trials that it was hard to stay motivated and hungry after the first gold medal....  


TRELAWNY (JAM): The fastest man in the world Usain Bolt spent Christmas with his family at home in Trelawny. Bolt posted on his facebook: "Christmas is a very special time for us in Jamaica. We spend with family and very close friends. I want to wish you all (wherever in the world you are) a Blessed and Holy Season - One Love."



HOUILLES (FRA): The 39th Corrida de Houilles will have on December 26 at the 10 km as top names olympic 10 000 m and 5000 m medalists Micah Kogo with Edwin Soi of Kenya. Main rivals will be Ethiopian Imane Merga, one of the current top French runners Abdellatif Meftah and young Kenyan Titus Mbishei. Interesting entry is US 15 km champion Mohamed Trafeh. In women´s race Ethiopian title defender Sule Utura Gedo is the top name with Kenyan Priscila Jepleting and Portugal´s Marisa Barros. Home runners will be headed by steeple record holder Sophie Duarte.



ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Another legend of athletics Haile Gebrselassie who will run 10 km on Friday in Angola noted on his twitter: "In Ethiopia we celebrate Christmas in January and new year in september, but for now I wish you all a merry christmas and a great 2011!"



SPALA (POL): Pole vault world champion Anna Rogowska is back in good training after injuries in 2010 and wants to compete during the indoor season. "I want to fight for a medal at European Indoor Championships in Paris," she was quoted by Polish media. Before Christmas she was having her training in the Polish Olympic Center in Spala where are the best indoor conditions in the country. One of her competitions will be Pedro´s Cup in Bydgoszcz on February 16.







BELFAST (GBR): Athletics Ireland informs that newly crowned European CC junior champion Charlotte Purdue will be competing in next month's Antrim IAAF International Cross Country at Greenmount on January 22nd. The event is organised by Athletics Northern Ireland and sponsored by Antrim Borough Council while still part of the UK wide McCain Cross Challenge. An amount of 15,000 USD is on offer in prize money this year for the senior races. The opposition will include Ethiopian Aheza Kiros (Mary Cullen who won last year is not racing because of a broken collar bone). Also announced for Greenmount is top GB cross country runner Andy Vernon. He will have it tough at 8 km against Ethiopians Ali Abdosh and Dejene Gebremeskel.


FORMIA (ITA): Coach Vitaliy Petrov said for the Russian Athletics Federation website that Yelena Isinbayeva's preparations for her return to the sport are far from perfect. Isinbayeva trains most of the time in Italy and from time to time in Monaco but with the cold weather and the rain her outdoor training is being hampered. Isinbayeva is doing a lot of jump sessions outdoors and only does small sessions indoors.


BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgium's upcoming middle distance talent Imana Truyers (17) will undergo surgery on the knee. The junior athlete sustained the injury when falling down during her race at the European cross country championships. The knee ligaments were ruptured to the third degree but Truyers still managed to continue and finish 17th in the race, report Belgian media.


PARIS (FRA): A group of elite French pole vaulters is back in France after a training camp in the island of Réunion. The group, among others with Renaud Lavillenie, Romain Mesnil, Damiel Dossevi and Vanessa Boslak, had a highly succesful training camp and praised the great conditions in which they trained on


KINGSTON (JAM): MVP athletes Sherone Simpson, Shericka Williams and Trishina McGowan brought christmas to the Walker's Home of Safety in Kingston when giving away christmas gifts to the children at the home. 400m hurdler McGowan came up with the idea and got her teammates involved in the project writes


ROME (ITA): Rome has launched a campaign to promote its bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. With the new scheme 'schools for Rome 2020' the city aims at getting local students enthusiastic about the bid. The goal of the programme is to actively involve schools in the city's candidature and help spread awareness of the importance of sports and the Olympic spirit of competition writes Insidethegames.


ISTANBUL (TUR): Turkish Youth and Sports Director Yunus Akgul has called hosting the Olympic Games in Istanbul is a priority task for the country. Akgul mentionned the special attention sports have been receiving in Turkey as the country hosted several major sporting events reports Trend.


LONDON (GBR): West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady said rivals Tottenham Hotspurs are not welcome in the area of the 2012 Olympic Stadium. West Ham United are the favourites to take over the Olympic Stadium after the London Games but Tottenham's bid seems increasingly strong and financially more viable writes Insidethegames. "Spurs are trying to muscle in where they are not wanted" Brady was quoted.


LAUSANNE (SUI): IOC President Jacques Rogge has called 2010 a good year for the IOC and marked the success of the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and the inaugural Youth Olympic Games but also mourns the loss of Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2010. For 2011 Rogge wants to continue safeguarding the sport from doping and corruption and is looking forward to the first Winter Youth Olympic Games and the selection of the host city of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Rogge also is looking forward to opening more Olympic Youth Development Centres and awaits the visit of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon in January 2011.


BERLIN (GER): Congratulations to agent and track journalist Marisa Reich, her daughter Mailin was born on December 17.


KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaica Gleaner writes that having upgraded the JN International Invitational meet to IAAF World Challenge status, the sport's world governing body has also committed 30 000 USD as for every other meet in the series towards the staging of the event, which will run at the National Stadium on May 7 next year. Additionally, it has also been revealed that the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) was originally approached by the IAAF ahead of this year's staging of the meet, with the idea of an upgrade. However, certain proposed changes to the meet structure and the number of events that could be run, forced careful consideration from the administration. "We had the opportunity to have the meet upgraded from this year, but it was something that we were reluctant to really take on at that time given the number of events and the types of events that they (IAAF) normally wants to see and there were other little things that we felt would affect the way we have been running our meet in the past," said JAAA President Howard Aris.


MADRID (ESP): El Pais writes that antidoping experts of IAAF have for years seen in Marta Domínguez's blood profile too much correctness, and far too little variation. As a result they didn't think twice about including her on a list of suspicious athletes, athletes whom they were sure were doping, based on indirect findings, but for whom they still lacked absolute proof. In an attempt to find the exact substance whose effects they could clearly see in the tests, the IAAF had this select group of suspicious athletes undergo an increased number of antidoping controls. The IAAF's suspicions weren't solely due to the predictable chart that could be traced from Domínguez's hematocrit values over the course of years, which were always the same and predicable and well within permitted limits. Rather, these suspicious also came out of the fact that even before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the IAAF had received warning from the Spanish Federation that Domínguez had begun working with César Pérez, the hurdling coach who has since been charged in Operation Greyhound, writes Let´s Run translated from El Pais.


NEW DELHI (IND): India's new track sensation Ashwini Akkunji claimed lack of corporate sponsorship even after winning two gold medals in last month's Asian Games but still remains upbeat about a podium finish in the 2012 London Olympics. Ashwini wants to become the first Indian woman athlete to win an individual gold in the Olympics but for that to happen she said she needs money to compete in the European circuit and top IAAF events. "I need to compete in the European circuit, in big events like Diamond League of the IAAF to improve upon my timing before the London Games. For that I need financial support but corporate sponsorship is not coming. I am looking for that," said Ashwini, who won gold in 400m hurdles and helped the 4x400m relay team to win a yellow metal in the Asian Games. Indian media are writing. Her best is 56.15.


PORT OF SPAIN (TRI): World Junior 400 m hurdles champion Jehue Gordon and double Continental Cup winner Kelly-Ann Baptiste won the Trinidad Guardian Newspapers Sports desk Male and Female Sports Personality awards for 2010. Unlike Gordon, Baptiste was unable to attend the awards function held a the company's office, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad on Thursday 23 December, to collect her award. Writes TrackAlerts.


PARIS (FRA): Sports media group L´Équipe has named triple European gold medalist sprinter Christoph Lemaitre the Champion des Champions in France in the year 2010.


MOSCOW (RUS): The board of Russian Athletics Federation at is meeting on December 24 approved expected budget for 2011 worth of 118 millions of rubles. That is nearly 4 millions USD.


LONDON (GBR): The Queen has made sport the focus of her Christmas Day message this year, giving a massive boost as the countdown to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic really begins. Writes Insidethegames.


NEW DELHI (IND): India's federal investigators have searched the residences of Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of Delhi 2010, as it continued its investigations into alleged corruption at the Commonwealth Games. Informs Insidethegames.







OMSK (RUS, Dec 25): At Bulatov Memorial indoor meet European champion Mariya Savinova won the 600 m in 1:29.43 ahead of Yevgeniya Zinurova (1:30.64). Last year at the same meet Savinova was quicker (1:28.45). Mariya Bolikova posted 7.30 at 60 m and Irina Maracheva was the best in the 2000 m race in solid 5:48.23. Second was Yelena Zadorozhnaya with 5:50.18 and third Olesya Syreva 5:50.40. In the men´s 2000 m Ivan Tukhtachev got 5:13.95 with veteran Vyacheslav Shabunin third (5:18.49). Fastest over 60 m was Mikhail Idrisov (6.79).


ITEN (KEN, Dec 24): Former world junior champion Rose Kosgei won the Shoe4Africa 5 km race in Kenya after 16:34. As Hardloop Krant informs second Alice Timbilil clocked 16:349 and third Jepchirchir Cheruiyot 16:59. At this Christmas race prizes were given by Florence Kiplagat, Sylvia Kibet, Janet Jepkosgei, Viola Kibiwott, Peninah Arusei, Wilson Kipsang, Wilson Kiprop and Mo Farah.


VILNIUS (LTU, Dec 25): The 35th jubilee New Year´s Eve race in the streets of Vilnius saw Violeta Godlewska winning the 12 km in 46:49, in the men´s category Mantas Diliunas posted 38:00. Around 500 runners participated.



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