Stay on, Yelena!

Russia yesterday hailed the stunning triumph of pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva at her home world championships in Moscow, hoping her victory would not mark the culmination of an illustrious career.

Yelena Isinbayeva
Yelena Isinbayeva is ecstatic after winning gold in the pole vault on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

Isinbayeva’s victory at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium late Tuesday galvanised the entire championships and left Russians hoping that that the career of their best-loved athlete would not end there.

“I congratulate Yelena Isinbayeva on a bright, emotional and well-earned victory. I wish Yelena new achievements — in sport and in her personal life!” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Facebook.

Isinbayeva announced afterwards that she intended to take an 18-month break to have a baby but said she could still compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics if she still had the condition.

Yelena Isinbayeva
Yelena Isinbayeva

“Continue Yelena! You are wonderful!,” said the Sovietsky Sport daily. “Isinbayeva did not give one chance to her opponents. It would be a shame if she left sport.”

“A bird of happiness,” said the Sport Express daily. “Yesterday evening, Yelena Isinbayeva made thousands of fans in the Luzhniki stadium happy as well as millions across the country.”

Her exploits in front of packed stands were also a boost for the championships, which until now had failed to create much buzz in the Russian capital and had been criticised for banks of empty seating.

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