Thursday, July 15, 2010

Isinbayeva rules out any 2010 comeback

MOSCOW, July 9 (Reuters) - Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva will not compete this season but hopes to come back stronger next year, her coach said on Friday.

"Yelena started light training at the end of June," Vitaly Petrov was quoted as saying by the Russian media.

"We're not talking about getting her ready for big competitions but just trying to regain her fitness and technique," he said.

"After three-and-a-half months of rest she'll need two months to get back her competitive form so we decided not to rush things, not to take any risks."

Russian Isinbayeva, 27, decided to take an indefinite break from the sport after failing to win a medal at the world indoor championships in Doha in March -- her
second consecutive defeat in a major championship. She did not clear a height at last year's world outdoor championships in Berlin.

"We knew she wouldn't be ready (to compete) at the European championships, which start at the end of this month in Barcelona," Petrov told the All Sport news agency.

"More than that, she will not compete this outdoor season at all and her first competition after the break will be the (annual) indoor meet in Moscow next February."

Petrov, who also coached the great Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergei Bubka, said he was hoping the Russian would come back motivated and refreshed.

"The following three years are going to be very important for her," he said. "First, the 2011 world championships, then the London Olympics the following year and finally the 2013 world championships in Moscow."

Isinbayeva has said on several occasions that she planned to finish her athletics career on home soil following the 2013 worlds.