Moscow: Olympic champion and world pole vault record holder Yelena Isinbayeva made an unimpressive return to competition after an 11-month break by winning a low-key indoor meeting on Sunday.
Isinbayeva struggled to find her top form but was still too good for her rivals, clearing 4.81 metres on her first attempt to win the annual Russian Winter invitational.
The flamboyant Russian, who took a break to rediscover her love for the sport, played down her mediocre showing in Moscow and said she was satisfied with her first competitive outing since last March`s world indoor championships in Doha where she failed to win a medal.
"The most important thing for me was to win today," Isinbayeva told reporters after failing three times at 4.91 metres, well short of her world indoor record.
"I was away from competition for nearly a year. I must admit I missed it, I missed the atmosphere, the adrenalin, the nerves, everything and I am very happy to be back."
She began with 4.61 after all her rivals, including compatriot and former world champion Svetlana Feofanova, had left the arena.
After easily going over her opening height, Isinbayeva also cleared 4.81 on her first try but the next height proved too tough.
The 28-year-old was confident she would quickly regain her top form.
"I did everything what myself and my coach (Vitaly Petrov) had set out to do today. I just had the world`s best result this year," Isinbayeva, who also owns the world outdoor record at 5.06, said.
"I`m getting most of my competitive feelings back and I don`t think it would take me long before I could start going for world records again."
Isinbayeva will also take part at the Sergei Bubka invitational in Ukraine later this month before competing at next month`s European indoor championships in Paris.