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Murer claims pole vault gold as Isinbayeva bombs
By Luke Phillips (AFP) – 2 days ago
DAEGU, South Korea — Yelena Isinbayeva pushed her gamesmanship one step too far on Tuesday and crashed out of the world women's pole vault, a competition won by Brazil's Fabiana Murer.
Murer, who was fifth at the Berlin worlds in 2009, managed a best of 4.85m, with Germany's Martina Strutz taking silver (4.80m) and Russian Svetlana Feofanova claiming bronze (4.75).
"I'm very happy," said the 30-year-old Murer. I knew I had to vault my best to get the medal. I did that today and it was enough to get me the medal.
"I've had good training and a good season and was very confident," she said, adding that she had expected a "more competitive event".
Isinbayeva had to be content with a hugely disheartening sixth placing after just one successful vault.
"I'm disappointed but I'm now focusing on next year's Olympic Games," said the two-time Olympic and double world champion who was in Daegu seeking revenge after failing to record a height in the finals of the Berlin worlds.
"The pole was really soft. You saw how high I went for again. It was just a mistake.
"I'm trying to forget everything that happened here today and I'll go to London with everything in my memory deleted."
The Russian, whose world record stands at 5.06m, denied that she had been out of form, saying: "My condition was very good. You saw how high I went for. The pole was too soft, I went for another one and another one and it was tough.
"There's still more to come," she said, denying her rivals were now better than her.
"No, they're not. My best is still 5.06m. 4.85? No."
She had looked in good form in the heats, albeit landing just one vault at 4.55m to qualify, but she overplayed her hand in the final.
The 29-year-old came in at 4.65m and sailed over. Passing at 4.70m, she then bumped the bar off at 4.75, but rather than retrying at that height went up to 4.80.
Her first attempt at 4.80 was no better, Isinbayeva brushing the bar with her stomach to leave herself screaming en route down to the mat.
A final attempt at the same height after those two failures saw the Russian not even get close to the bar and she was left to wave briefly to the crowd and exit the runway before pulling a blue cap hard down over her head.
She promptly gathered up her belongings, muttering to herself all along, turned her back on the ongoing competition and left the stadium.
After finishing only fourth in last year's world indoor championships in Doha, Isinbayeva's years of dominating the event seem well and truly over.
Her fall from grace mirrored that of Australian Steve Hooker, the Berlin champion and Olympic gold medallist who did not even make the final, crashing out in heats after failing to register a single vault.