Isinbayeva aims to be female Bubka
ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- Yelena Isinbayeva beat her own world record to clinch the Olympic women's pole vault gold on Tuesday coming one step closer to matching the feats of her idol, Sergei Bubka.
"I want to become like Sergei Bubka," Isinbayeva told reporters, "My coach says my technique is similar to his, that I am the female version of him, and I believe him."
After winning Olympic gold with a world record 4.91m, she said: "I am convinced that Sergei was supporting me."
But it is not just her technique that is similar to Bubka, as just as the Ukrainian, Isinbayeva has managed to turn her athletic success into a financially rewarding career.
Sergei Bubka broke the world record an incredible 35 times and left the athletic world with a whopping 6.14m record which has stood for 10 years now.
In addition to that he claimed an Olympic gold medal at the Seoul Games and has won an unprecedented six straight world titles.
Bubka will always be remembered for breaking the 6 meter barrier, while Isinbayeva is tipped to do the same for the women at 5 meters.
She said:"I want to better it (the world record) centimeter by centimeter, I believe step by step I can reach 5m in one year. But I am in no hurry."
This year alone the 22-year-old has raised the mark four times in less than two months, to 4.87m on June 27 in Gateshead, to 4.89 in Birmingham on July 25 after fellow-Russian Svetlana Feofanova soared 4.88m in-between, to 4.90 on July 30 in London and to 4.91 in Athens.
It seems as there is no love lost between Isinbayeva and Feofanova and the Athens gold medalist has described it as a "hi and goodbye" relationship.
Indeed they do not have much in common apart from the fact that they are compatriots and pole vaulters.
Isinbayeva is dark-haired, tanned, wears make-up and plays to the crowd. Feofanova is red-haired, freckled, frowning and as pale as a ghost. They also live in different cities.
The battle for gold on Tuesday evening was tough and it looked as if Isinbayeva had lost it when she failed to clear 4.70 and 4.75.
Distraught, she sat down and covered her head with a towel for almost 10 minutes.
"After clearing 4.80, the world record was no problem," she said. "I already knew by then that I was the champion, that gave me strength, it made me bolder.
"I don't want to boast but I'm not used to bronzes and I'm not used to losing. It's all or nothing for me," she said after setting the first athletics world record at the Athens Games.
"It was one of the key moments in my life. I was just thinking how much I had done to get to Athens. I told myself -- You are the favorite," she said.