MOSCOW (Reuters) - Double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva has begun training for the 2016 Rio Games after taking an 18-month maternity break.
“I was not happy with my (bronze medal) performance at the 2012 Olympics in London. Now the time has come to try and get back into training,” the 32-year-old Russian told the All Sport agency on Thursday.
The world record holder has not competed since winning her third world title in August 2013, taking time out to have her first child. Her daughter was born in June 2014.
“Eva is already seven months and she is becoming a little more independent. I feel I still have energy that I have not used up,” the Russian, who won Olympic gold at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games, said.
”During my first training session I could not even run 400 meters. I could only do one pull-up and seven push-ups. Everything was so rusty, but then again, I had not done any physical training for nearly two years.
“At the moment I am getting all my muscles in shape and I am laying the foundations. However, as my coach said, I will need seven to eight months for this to happen. Then I will start pole vaulting again. At the moment I can’t even jump up as high as the bar.”
Isinbayeva wants to bow out from the international stage by setting another world mark -- which she currently holds with a vault of 5.06 meters.
“I really want to set a new world record. In 2014 and at the start of 2015 ... a height of 4.80 has often been enough for victory. I look at these modest results and I am happy,” she said.
“I have won everything there is to win in sport but I think it would be cool to compete in another Olympics. It will be an amazing experience and after this I will quit the sport for good.”
editing by Pritha Sarkar