Double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva is to run for president of the Russian ARAF athletics federation. Announcing her candidature in an interview with the ARAF website, she said that she wanted to help her country’s athletes return to elite competition.
The 34-year-old, who won gold in Athens and Beijing and is unable to compete at the Rio Olympics due to the IAAF ban on Russia’s track and field team, is hoping to replace Dmitri Shlyakhtin, who will retire in November.
“The ARAF has a difficult path ahead in trying to return to international athletics,” Isinbayeva said. “The fact that I was not allowed to compete in the 2016 Olympics will help me to try and make sure that the ARAF will become a member of the IAAF again. “I want our athletes to take part in international competitions. The chance to help Russian athletes return to the elite is a huge motivation for me and will be some sort of compensation for not being able to compete in Rio”.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.