Russian Pole Vault star Isinbayeva announces retirement

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 20 (IANS) Russia’s two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva announced here on Friday that she’s officially retired from Pole Vault after being elected among four new members to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Athletes Commission.

The 34-year-old saw her hopes of competing at her final Olympics in Rio crushed when the track and field’s world governing body IAAF banned the entire Russian team but long jumper Darya Klishina in the wake of alleged doping scandal, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I’m still an athlete sitting here and talking to you, but when I walk out of this press conference room I’m leaving as a retired one,” said the current world record holder of 5.06 metres in women’s Pole Vault.

“Yelena Isinbayeva is finishing her career as a pole vaulter today. This is my official statement,” the three-time world champion added.

The London Games bronze medallist continued: “It’s a hard decision for me, but I’m just leaving pole vault, not sports.

“I owned a lot through sports. I lived a perfect competitive career and achieved more than just medals through pole vault. Now it’s time for me to make efforts on improving others’ lives through sports.”

The 2004 and 2008 Olympic gold medallist was elected to the IOC Athletes Commission alongside with Germany’s fencing champion Britta Heidemann, South Korean paddler Ryu Seung-min and Daniel Gyurta from Hungary of swimming for a term of eight years on Thursday.

“I thought I would be very sad (about retirement) but the election has inspired me,” said Isinbayeva, who has set 28 world records during her career.

–IANS

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