Isinbayeva quits athletics

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Isinbayeva quits athletics

CONTAINS VIDEO CONVERTED FROM 4:3

Russia’s former Olympic gold medallist Yelena Isinbayeva calls an end to her career.

SHOWS:

CHEBOKSARY, RUSSIA (FILE JUNE 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

1. YELENA ISINBAYEVA, PERFORMING VAULT AND WAVING TO THE CROWD

BEIJING, CHINA (FILE AUGUST 2008) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS PICTURES – ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

2. STILL OF ISINBAYEVA CLEARING 5.05 METRES TO WIN GOLD AND SET A NEW WORLD RECORD

BEIJING, CHINA (FILE AUGUST 2008) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

3. ISINBAYEVA BEING PRESENTED WITH A CHINESE DRESS

DONETSK, UKRAINE (FEBRUARY 15, 2009) (STUDIO ONE PLUS ONE – NO ACCESS UKRAINE)

4. ISINBAYEVA SUCCESSFULLY VAULTS 5.00M TO BREAK HER OWN INDOOR WORLD RECORD

CHEBOKSARY, RUSSIA (FILE JUNE 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

5. ISINBAYEVA VAULTING AND WAVING TO CROWD

BEIJING, CHINA (FILE 2008) (REUTERS PICTURES – ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

6. ISINBAYEVA WITH THE GOLD MEDAL AT THE 2008 OLYMPICS WITH SILVER MEDALLIST JENNIFER STUCZYNSKI (LEFT) AND BRONZE MEDALLIST SVETLANA FEOFANOVA

STORY: Barred from competing at the Rio Games, Russia’s double Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva announced her retirement on Friday (August 19) and said whoever won the women’s pole vault in her absence would not have achieved a proper gold medal.

At a combative news conference, Isinbayeva also said God would be the judge of whether athletics’ governing body was right to exclude almost the entire Russian track and field team, including herself, over what it said was incontrovertible evidence of state-sponsored doping.

Isinbayeva said she had been confident of winning the pole vault after clearing 4.90 metres on June 2 on her first competitive appearance for three years after giving birth to a daughter.

She said she and her coach had been confident she would achieve 5.10, four centimetres higher than her own world record, and well above the season’s best of 4.93 set by American Sandi Morris.

Isinbayeva, 34, was elected by her peers on Thursday to the International Olympic Committee’s athletes’ commission, and the IOC will vote on Sunday on whether to confirm her as one of its 100-odd members.

In that role, she will be an influential and outspoken player at a time of crisis in relations between Russia and the wider Olympic movement. Many Russians believe the exclusion of more than 100 of their athletes from Rio is part of a Cold War-style political plot to punish Moscow for opposing the West over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Answering questions for an hour with her impassioned, quick-fire delivery, Isinbayeva said she did not deny Russia had a doping problem but only on a par with any other country.

She avoided criticism of the IOC, focusing instead on the IAAF athletics body which took the decision in June to ban Russia’s track and field team from Rio.

After several times deflecting questions about her future plans, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion, an idol in her home country, finally announced her retirement.

Tags : athletics, quits, Isinbayeva

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