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Isinbayeva bides her time for glory.
She waited at 4.15 metres, as you would expect from a double Olympic champion. And then she waited at 4.30m, 4.40m, 4.50m, 4.55m, 4.60m and 4.65m.
Finally, as the women's pole vault competition became one of the focal points of the second IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season in Shanghai on Saturday, Russian Yelena Isinbayeva took centre stage.
The Russian, who is determined to regain the heights which took her to a world record of 5.06m, did not disappoint, even though she was the only athlete who had not vaulted.
First time, she missed out of 4.70m but at the second time she made it over and within an instant the victory was hers.
American Mary Saxer had led with a personal best of 4.60m followed by Germany's Silke Spiegelburg with 4.55m, but Isinbayeva did what she wanted to do.
The first small steps on the road to the World Championships in Moscow, she showed she has the speed and agility of old. And now the bigger heights will surely arrive.
She failed at 4.85m but those sort of heights can wait. For now, it was about starting her season with a win, and that is what she achieved, even if the weeks ahead might bring tougher competition.
12. December 59
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day
04. December 157
World Weightlifting Championships