As a two-time Olympic gold medallist, you can be forgiven for feeling a little miffed with third place, but Yelena Isinbayeva stumped everyone at the Olympics by saying, “bronze is very tasty”.
The two-time World champion who has 28 world records — one more than the legendary Sergey Bubka in men’s pole vault — said, “this bronze medal is like gold to me.”
She admitted that life had not been easy for her in the last three years after the gold in the Beijing Games, both physically and psychologically.
“I was asking myself ‘why am I continuing, and what for,’” she revealed.
“My coach Yevgeni Trofimov inspired me,” said Isinbayeva, who won the gold in the world Indoor championship in Istanbul and set a world record 5.01 in Stockholm.
She, however, was injured and could not train well for London.
“After competing in Monaco, I wanted to drop out of London. Today, my leg was not working. I had work with (just) my hands.
“Of course, today it is not a fairy tale, competing was not easy. This is why this bronze is like gold to me,” said the 30-year-old.
She was also upset by the wind.
“It was terrible for me. It was the worst possible for women’s pole vaulting,” said Isinbayeva, hinting at the overall low standards in the event where 4.75 metres won gold.
Isinbayeva had toyed with the idea of quitting after what could have been her third gold in the Olympics, but said that there was now unfinished business.
“I am thinking of Rio. In 2013, the World championship will be in Russia for the first time. Of course, I will participate, and I will go for gold’’, she said.
The Russian, however, added that she was like a pair of twins, with contrasting moods.
“Today I wake up and say ‘I will stop’. The next day I say, ‘I will continue’,” she said.