Isinbayeva targets last Olympic gold before retirement
Paris: Russian pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva has said the only thing that can stop her winning a third straight Olympic gold medal in London this summer is herself.
In an interview with Laureus.com in Monaco, where she lives and trains, Isinbayeva said: "In London, my main competitor will be myself, because I know how high I can jump and I know that height is almost impossible for my rivals."
With her current outdoors world record set at 5.06 metres, Isinbayeva said she has the potential to jump 5.10 and higher.
The two-time winner of the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award also said that she would retire in two years` time, but hoped to break Sergey Bubka`s record of 35 world records before then. She currently owns 28 world records.
"Sergey was a role model. He was a star at the time I was starting. It was my goal from the beginning to set up 36 world records. I would like to make one more than Sergey did," she said.
But, setting herself a time limit to achieve this, she said: "For me, I decide that another two years and then I will retire. Training becomes difficult, hard and, of course, every year the body is getting old... it becomes harder and harder to prepare for the competition."
The two-time Olympic champion had a good start to her 2012 campaign.
"My winter season started fantastically well. My victory in the World Indoor Championship in Istanbul gives me more confidence for the Olympic Games in London and my indoor world record in Stockholm brings me back on top, so I am again No.1 in the ranking", she said.
Isinbayeva said her break from pole vaulting was a result of what she describes as "terrible years".
"I was tired from everything. My body, my mind was tired because I was almost 10 years competing at winter season and summer season. So, yes, I decided to have some rest without competing, without training, without everything," she said.
Isinbayeva said that her decision to return to Yevgeny Trofimov, her coach from her early years, has been a key element in her revival.
"To work again with Yevgeny was my best decision ever in my life, because I trust him. I grew up with him as a pole vaulter," she said.