Isinbayeva sets return date for February

Moscow: Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva will end her "boring" break from the sport in February, the Russian told reporters on Monday.

Isinbayeva will return at the Pole Vault Stars competition promoted by her role model and legendary vaulter Sergey Bubka in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, nearly a year after she said she was taking an indefinite break.

"I know that I will start from February," a cheery and enthusiastic Isinbayeva said on the sidelines of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

"For sure it is going to be the Pole Vault Stars in Donetsk that Sergey (Bubka) provides every year. And (then) it will be a European Championship I think, Indoor championships... then we will decide what other competitions we (are) going (to) do."

"The most important goal of course is the London Olympic Games 2012... but still we have world championships in 2011 and my last championships will be Moscow 2013."

Isinbayeva has not competed since April after failing to win a medal at the world indoor and outdoor championships but the 28-year-old is keen to return after watching from the sidelines.

"I find it very boring. To live normal life. (When I competed) I used to wake up every morning and I knew what I was going to do for the day. Training, rest, eat."

"But all these three months when I had break, I woke up and I was wondering, "What (am) I going do today?," said the Russian, who won gold medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympics.

"I thought that I (would) miss some normal women`s life but now I recognise that my life is much more interesting, colourful."

Despite having long days to fill, Isinbayeva said she was pleased the rest had helped rediscover her passion for the sport.

"Maybe before when I achieved everything I didn`t pay such a high value as I have to pay. For me, it was the usual `yeah I won` nothing special."

"But it is special and now I understand what it means to be the best all over the world, so I am really hungry for the competition and I am looking forward to the new season as I want to prove who I am again from zero."

The break has allowed the Russian to devote her time an ambassadorial role at the inaugural Youth Olympics in the southeast Asian city-state, a position International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge asked her to fulfill.

"We have a big problem around the world with kids, because they are getting fat, everywhere," she added.

"They are not interested in sports because there is no reason to do sports."

"They do sports through computers, and this is really bad. I think these first youth Olympic games will push them to go in the stadium, to go in the swimming pool, to go somewhere just to do something."

The role, which will see Isinbayeva hold a question and answer session with young athletes, is something that has appealed to the Russian as a future career when she retires.

"I would like to give something back to sport because everything I have now is because of sport. I wouldn`t be sat here if I was a normal girl."

Bureau Report

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