05 June 2009
Olympic and World pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva, has signed up to compete at the Aviva London Grand Prix next month - one of only a handful of meetings the Russian superstar will take part in as she prepares to defend her title at the IAAF World Championships in Germany.
Isinbayeva, who turned 27 on Wednesday, has amassed a phenomenal collection of international medals, winning her second Olympic gold medal last year in Beijing with a clearance of 5.05m – which was also her 14th outdoor world record.
That victory underlined Isinbayeva’s complete dominance of an event in which she has won no fewer than nine major championships – including Olympic, World outdoor and indoor and European outdoor and indoor titles.
And now with the outdoor season underway, Isinbayeva can’t wait to return to Crystal Palace for the Aviva London Grand Prix on 24 and 25 July, where she has triumphed for the previous six years, as well as setting a new world record mark on three occasions.
She said: "I've won in London six times now, and I'll be there again this year as the event is a very important part of my season.
“My coach and I have selected five events I want to compete at this summer as I prepare to defend my World Championship title in August, so every meet will be really significant to me.”
The World Athlete of the Year for 2008, Isinbayeva picked up yet another award last week as she was named the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year for the second time.
Now as she eyes up another global title to add to her collection, the Aviva London Grand Prix will provide the final competitive opportunity to fine tune preparations as she gears up for the IAAF World Championships just three weeks later.
She said: “With the World Championships taking place just a few weeks after the Aviva London Grand Prix, I want to make sure I am in good shape and performing at my best there. It will be my last proper competition before heading out to Berlin, so I want to know I am in the best possible form.”
Isinbayeva’s record at the UKA event in London is impressive – as well as six consecutive wins the Monaco-based star has attempted to set a new world record on five occasions. Another attempt at that record next month remains a real possibility:
“I've set three world records there already so I know it is a place where I can perform well, and hopefully this year will be no different. I love competing there as I always get such great support from the crowd too. I've set 26 world records so far, and I still feel I can get even better, so hopefully I will give everyone plenty to cheer about!” she said.
Tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace, London on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th July are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk