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Athletics at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Women's Pole Vault

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Date Started: August 16, 2008
Date Finished: August 18, 2008

Gold: RUS Yelena Isinbayeva
Silver: USA Jenn Stuczynski-Suhr
Bronze: RUS Svetlana Feofanova

Summary

Yelena Isinbayeva was an overwhelming favorite in the women’s pole vault and she did not disappoint. The Russian defending champion and 2005 and 2007 World Champion had also set the last 11 world records, starting in 2004, with her last two coming earlier in 2008. American Jenn Stuczynski was the second choice but Isinbayeva would likely have to no height for her to win. Stuczynski did not think so, stating after the Olympics Trials, “I hope we do some damage and, you know, kick some Russian butt.” Isi heard the comment and it only served to rev her up. Isinbayeva opened with a first-vault clearance at 4.70 (15-5). Stuczynski led after clearing 4.80 (15-9), and was the only other vaulter left, as Is passed to 4.85 (15-11). The two then played a game of cat-and-mouse passing, as Stuczynski passed that height. She jumped at 4.90 (16-0¾), at which the Russian passed, but went out after three misses. Isinbayeva now had the gold medal but she was not done. She cleared 4.95 (16-2¾) on her third try and then had the bar moved to the world record height of 5.05 (16-6¾). She needed three attempts but got over the bar for her 12th outdoor world record.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Yelena Isinbayeva 26 Russia RUS Gold
2 Jenn Stuczynski-Suhr 26 United States USA Silver
3 Svetlana Feofanova 28 Russia RUS Bronze
4 Yuliya Golubchikova 25 Russia RUS
5 Monika Pyrek 27 Poland POL
6 Caroline Hingst 27 Germany GER
7 Silke Spiegelburg 22 Germany GER
8 April Steiner-Bennett 28 United States USA
9 Vanessa Boslak 26 France FRA
10T Fabiana Murer 27 Brazil BRA
10T Anna Rogowska 27 Poland POL
12 Gao Shuying 28 China CHN
13 QR Naroa Agirre 29 Spain ESP
14 QR Nastja Reiberger 30 Germany GER
15 QR Kate Dennison 24 Great Britain GBR
16T QR Alana Boyd 24 Australia AUS
16T QR Roslinda Samsu 26 Malaysia MAS
18 QR Kelsie Hendry 26 Canada CAN
19T QR Joanna Piwowarska 24 Poland POL
19T QR Afroditi Skafida 26 Greece GRE
19T QR Sandra Tavares 26 Portugal POR
22 QR Nicole Büchler 24 Switzerland SUI
23T QR Marion Buisson 20 France FRA
23T QR Þórey Edda Elísdóttir 31 Iceland ISL
25 QR Zhou Yang 20 China CHN
26 QR Krisztina Molnár 32 Hungary HUN
27T QR Nataliya Kushch-Mazuryk 25 Ukraine UKR
27T QR Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou 22 Greece GRE
27T QR Li Ling 19 China CHN
27T QR Yarisley Silva 21 Cuba CUB
31 QR Alejandra García 35 Argentina ARG
32T QR Leila Ben Youssef 26 Tunisia TUN
32T QR Vanessa Vandy 19 Finland FIN
34 QR Anna Foitidou 31 Cyprus CYP
AC QR Kateřina Baďurová 25 Czech Republic CZE
AC QR Erica Bartolina 28 United States USA