Isinbayeva back in World Record Mood: 5.01m (16-5.25), by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Yelena Isinbayeva has gotten her mojo back just in time! The World Indoors are two weeks away and the Olympics less than six months. But the 5.01m that she did earlier today, Stockholm time, and the 4.92m she did just a bit earlier are good indications that her coaching changes and training are going well.

Isinbayeva is a perfectionist. She is also highly competitive. This was the twenty-eighth world record, so the former athlete of the year knows how to compete and how to vault. Her key is motivation and the quality of vaulters in the world today.

Looking forward to seeing the event in the Worlds.

Charles Van Com_1.jpgCharles van Commenee, photo courtesy of UK athletics website

Charles van Commenee, UK Athletics Head Coach, noted to insidethegames, that he is not making any specific medal goal for the World Indoors. Van Commenee's reasoning is that the World Indoors bear little relevance on the London 2012 Olympics. The fact is that van Commenee in particular, and UK Athletics in general, will be judged by the 80 million Britons and the British media on how many medals that they win in London, not Istanbul.

Charles van Commenee was hired in 2008 with some fanfair as the head coach for UK Athletics (Van Commanee hired) for the specific reason of leading the charge for UK athletics to London 2012. van Commenee gets pretty high grades from coaches, athletes and agents for someone in his position. The fact is, if he is doing his job right, he should be at least annoying half the constituency every day. He seems to be accomplishing that with flying colors. 

Head coach is a thankless position, but it seems that van Commenee actually can do things in the UK. His comments in public are few, but have given him some positive media. van Commenee seems to ascertain that his job is not to be in the papers, but get his athletes running, jumping and throwing better, so that they are in the papers. In the US, a Head coach will be remembered only if his or her relay teams drop batons (that was paraphrasing a quote from John Chaplin, former WSU head coach, championship meet director).

 RBR has enjoyed watching Mr. van Commenee in his natural state: observing track meets, meeting with coaches and clearing obstacles for UK athletics' elite athletes. For van Commenee, nothing else really matters, nor should it.

We wish Mr. van Commenee the best in London 2012 ( of course, when it does come to US vs British medals, we believe gold for US, silver for the Brits-only makes sense, as do I hold a US passport!).



STOCKHOLM (SWE, Feb 23): Yelena Isinbaeva is back into record shape. At 23rd international indoor meet Xl-galan in Stockholm´s Globen Hall (9636 spectators) she cleared in second attempt new world indoor record 501 cm. The first record of the season in classic championships events. It is her 13th world indoor record and overall 28th world record. She started with 472 in second, following with 482 in first and world leading 492 in third. Second Holly Bleasdale cleared 472 ahead of Yarisley Silva 472 (another CAC record). Anna Chicherova remains also unbeaten this indoors with clean sheet until two meters and as in Banska Bystrica could not go over 204 cm. Second Ebba Jungmark over Tia Hellebaut, both 194. In third jumping women event world champion Olga Saladukha improved Ukrainian indoor record to 14.79 (also European leader 2012 and stadium record) over Yargelis Savigne 14.47 and Yamile Aldama 14.44. The only male jumping event was something for the packed hall as home Michel Torneus won the centimeters fight of the long jump with 799. Sensation in men´s 800 m won by young Ethiopian Mohamed Aman 1:45.84 beating a strong field Marcin Lewandowski 1:46.02, Yuriy Borzakovskiy 1:46.19, Joe Thomas 1:46.33 and mainly Adam Kszczot (his first loss of the year) 1:47.06. World champion Kirani James provided clear win and stadium record 45.52 in the 400 m. Turkish win for Ilham Tanui in the 1500 m 3:34.88 over Bethwel Birgen 3:35.38 and Amine Laalou 3:37.03 (indoor PB). Young Isaiah Koech won the 3000 m in 7:33.55 beating all older top runners including second Dejen Gebremeskel 7:34.14 and Augustine Choge 7:34.74. Another sensation in the 60 m hurdles as Liu Xiang got disqualified, winner Dayron Robles clocked 7.66. Btissam Lakhouad of Morocco clocked 4:07.86 over young Ethiopian Tizita Bogale 4:07.88. Ukrainians dominated in the women 60 m, Mariya Ryemyen improved her season best to 7.17 over Olesya Povkh 7.20. Jamaican Patricia Hall clocked indoor best 51.66 to win the 400 m beating Russian Antonina Krivoshapka 51.81 and home Moa Hjelmer 52.43 lifetime best.



MOSCOW (RUS, Feb 23): Second day of Russian Championships saw both high jump battles. Ivan Ukhov won the high jump with 234 second attempt clearance over Andrey Silnov 234 in third and Aleksey Dmitrik 230. Ukhov before the event said he is not planning for Istanbul. Irina Gordeyeva achieved 196 and beat on count back Svetlana Shkolina. Yelena Sokolova leaped to 688 in the long jump, second best mark in the season. Darya Klishina high quality second 683 and heptathlon world champion Tatyana Chernova third 657. Aleksandra Fedoriva clocked European lead 51.18 in the 400 m over Yuliya Gushchina 51.92. In the 800 m no sub 2 minutes but a close race. Yelena Kofanova got 2:02.46 ahead of Yuliya Rusanova and Yuliya Tutayeva both 2:02.56. Yevgeniya Kolodko with 19.46 could be a final contender in Istanbul in the shot put. Yelena Orlova won the 2000 m steeple as expected in 6:13.98. Yekaterina Voronenkova is a new champion in the 200 m (23.35). In other male events Lyukman Adams leaped to 17.04 in the triple jump and Aleksandr Pavelyev was a surprise 2000 m steeple winner in 5:25.33 over Ildar Minshin 5:25.34. Shot put with 4 over 20 meters: Maksim Sidorov 20.98 over Ivan Yushkov 20.61, Soslan Tsirikhov 20.19 and Valeriy Kokoyev 20.05. Close 800 m saw Ivan Nesterov winning in 1:48.90 ahead of Ivan Tukhtachev 1:48.93. Pavel Trenikhin clocked 46.65 to win the 400 m and Roman Smirnov 21.07 the 200 m.



OTTAWA (CAN): A mere six months after giving birth Priscilla Lopes-Schliep will make her official return to competition Saturday in Sherbrooke in the 60-meter hurdles. Lopes-Schliep will face off against two of her teammates in Phylicia George and Nikkita Holder. „I'm looking forward to come back to competition," said Lopes-Schliep. „It's been a while since I've been on a track with such a competitive group. I'll face some of the best in the world on Saturday, and anything can happen. It's an important step towards my objective to represent Canada at the London Olympic Games and get a medal." The race will also be significant for George who is looking to break 8.00 seconds to punch her ticket to the World Indoor Championships.







AMSTERDAM (NED) : Dutch decathlete Eelco Sintnicolaas will not compete in the 60m hurdles at this weekend's Dutch national championships and has opted to only compete in the pole vault. The athlete sustained a slight hamstring injury at last week's national combined events championships reports


AMSTERDAM (NED): Dutch Melissa Boekelman reported on her website that she will not travel to Istanbul for the IAAF World indoor championships. Boekelman has not yet found the right rhythm in her training and will close of the indoor season after this weekend's Dutch national championships.


PARIS (FRA): Marie Gayot, currently France's best 400 m female athlete, is positive she can perform well at the IAAF World indoor championships and told that she has high hopes for this year's European championships in Helsinki. Gayot also believes the French relay team could do well at both the European championships and the Olympic Games.


LAUSANNE (SUI): Armenian javelin thrower Melik Janoyan stands on the verge of breaking through the elite 80-meter barrier after going into new territory again with 79.71m at the Lunev Memorial Meeting, the Russian Winter Throwing Cup reports European Athletics.


BERLIN (GER): Carsten Schlangen is set to compete at this weekend's German national championships. The former German indoor champion was struck by the flue but will be better in time for the race this weekend according to


LONDON (GBR): Charles van Commenee, head coach at UK Athletics, has not set any medal targets for the British team at next month's IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul as he does not feel they will have any bearing on the team's preparations for London 2012. And he added that the European Championships, which start in Helsinki on June 27, three days after the Aviva UK Trials, would not involve any track athletes who had already qualified for the Olympics reports Insidethegames.







YALTA (UKR, Feb 23): Hanna Hatsko improved during second day of Ukrainian Winter Throwing Championships to 61.46 in the javelin. Artyom Rubanko won the hammer 75.46 over Oleksiy Sokirskiy 75.02. With junior hammer (6 kg) Sergiy Regeda got 73.41.

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