Russia’s biggest track and field star gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about at the World Championships on Tuesday.
Yelena Isinbayeva, the diva of pole vaulting, won her third world title in what may have been her final competition. With all of Isinbayeva’s clearances, Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow erupted with flag-waving Russian fans.
She won with a 4.89-meter clearance, then attempted and failed at what would have been a new world record height of 5.07 and did cartwheels on her victory lap.
Olympic champion Jenn Suhr of the U.S. took silver at 4.82, and Cuban Yarisley Silva took bronze at the same height.
Isinbayeva, 31, said last month that she would retire after the World Championships but backtracked over the weekend.
“I’ll start a family, I’ll give birth and I’ll try and return and reclaim all my gold medals,” she told R-Sport. “If it doesn’t work out, then I’ll announce my retirement. Right now I’m not leaving. I’m taking another break because I want to have children. I’ll definitely miss the next season, and after that we’ll see.”
Isinbayeva, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion and world record holder, bounced back from her bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, where she was dethroned by Suhr. Silva may have been the favorite coming in as the world leader for 2013.