Isinbayeva to launch season in Shanghai in May

Olympics: Track and Field-Women's Pole VaultYelena Isinbaeva (RUS) competes in the women’s pole vault during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

MOSCOW, April 11 (Reuters) – Pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva will make her first appearance of the season at next month’s Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, the Russian athletics federation (VFLA) said on Thursday.

Media reports suggested Isinbayeva was considering retirement after failing to win her third consecutive gold at last year’s London Olympics and then missing the indoor season.

However, VFLA chief Valentin Balakhnichyov said the 30-year-old would definitely compete at the world championships in Moscow in August.

“She has been training hard. She wants to come back stronger than ever,” Balakhnichyov told Reuters this week.

The flamboyant Russian was virtually unbeatable in the pole vault after setting her first world record in 2003 but has struggled to maintain her dominance since the 2009 world championships.

The Shanghai meeting will take place on May 18.

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