Singapore: Pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva says she is hungry again after a self-imposed break with three more major championships in her sights before retiring.
The 28-year-old double Olympic champion announced an indefinite break from the sport earlier this year after bombing at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, where she broke down in tears on the mat.
But the Russian is now ready to return, although she did not say when.
"I only took a break in 2010 because I realised after all my achievements I needed a break ahead of the big competitions that are coming up," she said in Singapore, where she is an ambassador at the inaugural Youth Olympics.
"There are the Olympics in London in 2012 and the World Championships in Daegu (2011) and Moscow (2013).”
"I must rest now so that I can retire with 100 percent satisfaction."
Isinbayeva, who has broken the world record 27 times, warned that she wanted to set another new mark that would not be broken for a long time.
"I`m hungry," she said, "I want to be the best, like the captain of the ship. I want to be the best again."
Prior to her meltdown in Berlin, Isinbayeva had appeared infallible.
She won two Olympic golds with world records, added a pair of world championship golds, set 26 world records and was the first woman to pass the five metre mark.
Although she was able to break the world record for the 27th time in the aftermath of Berlin, it hid the real problems she was facing.
"When I was defeated in Berlin last year I cried for two days," she said. "I couldn`t believe it. I thought it was a bad dream and just wanted to wake up.”
"My coach gave me three days off. I recovered and then I went to Zurich 10 days later and set a new world record (5.06m).”
"I hoped that after Berlin that it was just a one-off, but after Doha (where she finished fourth in the 2010 World Indoor Championships) I realised what the problem was.
"The break has given me new determination to be the best again."
On her return, Isinbayeva will face a renewed threat from compatriot Svetlana Feofanova, who added the 2010 European Championship gold to her 2003 world title.
Also out to cause her problems will be German pair Silke Spiegelburg and Lisa Ryzih, who won silver and bronze behind Feofanova at the Europeans.