Bitter about not being allowed to participate at the Rio Olympics 2016, Russia’s pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva has now confirmed her plans to put forward her candidacy for the post of president of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF). It would according to her motivate Russian athletes to move over the Rio Olympics snub and look into the future with a confidence and self- belief to take on the world.
“I want to try. I think I can do it as my reputation makes it possible for me to take charge of the federation. ARAF is to travel a thorny path to get back to the world athletics. And the fact that I has been stripped of a possibility to realise myself as an athlete at the 2016 Olympic Games will help me in the efforts to resume ARAF’s membership with the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations),” ARAF’s official website quoted her as saying on Wednesday.
“I want our athletes to compete at international competitions. It will be a big motivation for me and a kind of compensation for my lost possibility to compete at Rio to see Russian athletes in the sports elite again,” she said.
ARAF was at the centre of numerous doping scandals since last year and in November 2015 the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled to suspend the membership of the Russian body, thus closing the doors to all national track and field athletes to participation in all international competitions, including the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic champion and a triple world champion (2005, 2007 and 2013) having set a total of 28 world records, is considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time.
She was the first woman ever to clear the five-metre height jump having achieved the result in 2005. Her current outdoor record of 5.06m, set in August of 2009 in Zurich, remains unsurpassed.
Her indoor world record of 5.01m, set in Stockholm in February 2012, remained unbeaten for over a year, when in March of 2013 US pole-vaulter, Jenn Suhr bettered it with a 5.02m mark to become the second female athlete to ever clear the five-metre mark.
The IAAF named Isinbayeva the Female Athlete of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2008. In all, she has been champion on nine major occasions, which include champion titles at the Olympics, World Outdoor and Indoor, as well as European Outdoor and Indoor competitions.