Isinbayeva to launch season in Shanghai in May

MOSCOW Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:57pm BST

Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva kisses her bronze medal during the women's pole vault victory ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva kisses her bronze medal during the women's pole vault victory ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eddie Keogh

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva will make her first appearance of the season at next month's Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, the Russian athletics federation (VFLA) said on Thursday.

Media reports suggested Isinbayeva was considering retirement after failing to win her third consecutive gold at last year's London Olympics and then missing the indoor season.

However, VFLA chief Valentin Balakhnichyov said the 30-year-old would definitely compete at the world championships in Moscow in August.

"She has been training hard. She wants to come back stronger than ever," Balakhnichyov told Reuters this week.

The flamboyant Russian was virtually unbeatable in the pole vault after setting her first world record in 2003 but has struggled to maintain her dominance since the 2009 world championships.

The Shanghai meeting will take place on May 18.

(Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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