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Isinbayeva’s golden moment

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Isinbayeva breaking the world record

After the shock of Liu Xiang’s departure from the Games through injury, fans in the Bird’s Nest were given a golden moment to compensate at least slightly, as the peerless Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record in the pole vault.

The Russian made sure of the gold medal with just two jumps before returning to have a crack at raising her own best mark. After missing twice, she cleared 5.05 metres at the third attempt — with plenty to spare, it must be said.

Isinbayeva in celebration

PHOTO (TOP): Yelena Isinbayeva breaks the world record during the women’s pole vault final of the athletics competition in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 18, 2008. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

PHOTO: (BOTTOM): Yelena Isinbayeva celebrates her gold medal and world record. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Isinbayeva gold: the safest bet at the Games?

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Isinbayeva celebrates another world recordThe great thing about sport is that the next great upset is never far away.

Some gold medals at the Games look a lot easier to predict than others, though, and if I had to put my pay cheque on one athlete to win in Beijing I would go for Yelena Isinbayeva, the remarkable Russian pole vaulter who can’t stop breaking records.

Isinbayeva cleared 5.04 metres in Monaco on Tuesday to record her 13th outdoor world record and 23rd overall.

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