Thursday, August 23, 2007

Isi speaks to the international media...

Pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva holds a pole signifying the world record progression in her event at an adidas media function here in Osaka this morning. /photo by Paul Merca

OSAKA, Japan—Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva, the current world record holder in the pole vault, spoke today to members of the international press corps at an adidas media event where she exhibited her hand-drawn illustration that is part of the German sportswear company’s “Impossible is nothing” advertising campaign.

She also took time to answer questions about her preparation for the IAAF World Track & Field Championships, which begin Saturday here in the Japanese city.

When asked about the technical changes she’s made in the last year, she said, “It’s getting a lot better. I’m getting more confident in my jumping. I feel like I’m flying over the bar. I’m using longer poles now, between 4.50 and 4.55 meters long (14’9” to 14’11”), and my grip is a lot higher as well.”

“Last year was a bit difficult, since that was the first year of making the technical changes (which included a change in coaches). This year, I feel like I’m flying over the bar, as opposed to jumping over the bar. I am a lot more confident in my ability to go over the bar, as opposed to last year.”

On whether or not she feels she can be beaten here in Osaka, she simply said “No”. In response to a follow-up question on who may be going for the other medals, she said, “That is not my problem. I only focus on myself, and the bar. As long as I do my best, it’s impossible for the other girls to beat me. Sorry, ladies!”

On whether or not she gets bored being the best, she said, “It depends on the competition. Sometimes I don’t start jumping until about 2, 2 1/2, even three hours after the start. I try to push myself every time I compete. It’s difficult, but I enjoy pole vaulting. You could say it’s my passion.”

For the link to Yelena’s story, visit

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