Yelena Isinbayeva Success Story

Yelena Isinbayeva Success Story

Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva

Yelena Isinbayeva is considered as the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time. She has won two Olympic Gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. She has also won the World Championships thrice in 2005, 2007 and 2013. She became the first women to cross the five-meter mark in 2005. As of 2013, Isinbayeva has set a new World Record on 28 separate occasions. She has been the winner of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) Female Athlete of the Year in the years 2004, 2005 and 2008. She is one of nine players who have won the Athletic World Championships at the youth, junior and senior level.      


Yelena Isinbayeva was born on June 3, 1982 at Volvograd, Soviet Union. She started off in sports by being trained in gymnastics from a very early age. She had to discontinue gymnastics at the age of 15 as she had grown too tall for the sport. She soon changed her sport to pole vaulting and in her third competition itself won the 1998 World Youth Games in Moscow, Russia with a height of 4.00 m. She went o to defend her title next year by clearing 4.10 m. She was hailed as the next big star of athletics. 


At the 2000 World Junior Championships, Isinbayeva again came out on top by clearing a personal best of 4.20 m. This 18-year-old girl was already was capable enough to compete with the best in the world. In the 2000 Olympics she was unable to perform well and as a result didn’t qualify for the final round. This made her work harder and in 2001 she cleared 4.40 m to win the European Junior Championships. Next year she stunned the world by winning the European Championships itself with a jump of 4.55 m.

"There is time for everything" - Yelena Isinbayeva

In 2003, before even turning 21 years old, she made headlines in the sporting world as she broke the World record with a jump of 4.82 m. She also was able to win the World Indoor Championships with a jump of 4.86 m becoming the youngest to do so. This became both the indoor and outdoor World Record at that time. She was the favorite going into the 2004 Athens Olympics and she proved herself by setting a new World Record of 4.91 m and clinching the Gold medal comfortably.

She had become the most popular sporting figure in her country Russia at such a young age. There was no stopping Isinbayeva as she went on to break the World Record four times in three meetings in the year 2005. That same year she also was able to clear the magical 5.00 m mark for the first time in her career and that too in the first attempt at that height. These were the most dominating years in Isinbayeva’s career as she was able to win all the 18 competitions she participated in the year 2007.

yelena isinbayeva with putin

Yelena Isinbayeva with Putin


At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she needed only two vaults to win her second consecutive Olympic Gold medal. She had also set her 24th World Record in the process by clearing the 5.05 m mark. In 2009, she became the first woman to cross the 5.00 m mark indoors. For this performance she was nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year for the fifth time in a row, winning it for the second time. Her astonishing records and dominance over the sport make her without a doubt one of the most successful women athletes of the 21st century.


Prince of Asturias, World Sportswoman of the Year
Female Athlete of the Year, Womens European Athlete of the Year
World Sportswoman of the Year
Female Athlete of the Year, Womens Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Womens European Athlete of the Year
Female Athlete of the Year, Womens Track & Field Athlete of the Year

Yelena Isinbayeva Interview