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Yelena Isinbayeva

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, IOC member
Full nameYelena Gadzhiyevna•Isinbayeva
Used nameYelena•Isinbayeva
Original nameЕлена Гаджиевна•Исинбаева
Born3 June 1982 in Volgograd, Volgograd (RUS)
Measurements174 cm / 64 kg
AffiliationsRostov-na-Don Army/Profsoyuzy
NOC Russian Federation


Yelena Isinbayeva is considered as the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time. Isinbayeva originally trained as a gymnast, but she left the sport at the age of 15 because she grew to over 170 cm and was considered too tall for competitive gymnastics. So she took up pole vaulting in 1998 and only six months after taking up the sport, won the 1998 World Youth Games. Even as a junior, she was considered as one of the world’s top female pole vaulters, as she won the 1999 Youth Championships and 2000 World and 2001 European Junior Championships. In 2000, Isinbayeva first competed at the senior level at the 2000 Olympics, but failed to advance out of qualifying. Isinbayeva first major senior medal was at the 2002 European Championships, where she won silver behind teammate Svetlana Feofanova. In 2003, Isinbayeva won bronze at the 2003 European Championships and in the same year, she set her first world record with 4.82.

Between 2004 and 2008, Isinbayeva won golds in almost every competition she entered. She won Olympic titles in 2004 and 2008, World titles in 2005 and 2007, a European title in 2006, and the World Cup in 2006. She also won the IAAF World Athletics Final in 2004-2007 and the IAAF Golden League in 2007. Isinbayeva was defeated at the 2009 World Championships where she failed to achieve a successful vault in the final, although later in 2009, she won both the IAAF World Athletics Final and the IAAF Golden League. Between 2003 and 2009, Isinbayeva also set 17 world records, raising the women’s pole vault record from 4.81 to 5.06. After her failure at the 2009 World Championships, Isinbayeva decided to take a break from competing, thus missing the 2010 European Championships, but she returned in 2011, when she was sixth at the World Championships.

Personal Best: PV – 5.06 (2009).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2000 Summer Olympics Athletics RUS Yelena Isinbayeva
Pole Vault, Women (Olympic) AC r1/2
2004 Summer Olympics Athletics RUS Yelena Isinbayeva
Pole Vault, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
2008 Summer Olympics Athletics RUS Yelena Isinbayeva
Pole Vault, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
2012 Summer Olympics Athletics RUS Yelena Isinbayeva
Pole Vault, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Athlete International Olympic Committee 2016— RUS Yelena Isinbayeva

Special Notes