Russian pole vaulter wins top Spanish sport prize

3rd September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Yelena Isinbayeva, the only female pole vaulter to clear the 5.00 metre barrier and set a total of 27 world records, was awarded the Prince of Asturias prize for sport.

Madrid – Russian pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva, the double Olympic champion and world record holder, has been awarded Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias prize for sport, the jury announced on Wednesday.

"Considered the best pole vaulter of all times, Yelena Isinbayeva has achieved historic records and has become the only female pole vaulter ever to clear the 5.00 metre barrier, setting a total of 27 world records in this sport," the jury said.

The 27-year-old set a world record of 5.06m at a meeting in Zurich last week, bettering her own mark of 5.05m set when she won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.

The new record followed disappointment at August's world championships in Berlin when she finished out of the medals, the result she said of being "over-confident".

The Prince of Asturias sports prize is awarded to a person or group of people "who have reached new heights in man's quest to surpass himself, and whose efforts have contributed to the advancement, nurturing, promotion or dissemination of sport."

Eight Prince of Asturias prizes worth EUR 50,000 a piece are awarded each year in categories such as arts, scientific research, sports, letters and humanities.

Named after Spain's Crown Prince Felipe, they are presented each autumn in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, capital of the Asturias region.

In 2008, the Prince of Asturias prize for sport was awarded to Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal.

Past winners have also included Germany's seven times Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, retired US athletics legend Carl Lewis and US naturalised Czech-born tennis ace Martina Navratilova.

AFP / Expatica

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