Isinbayeva bids for third Olympic pole vault

Russian pole vault legend Yelena Isinbayeva will be bidding for a third Olympic gold medal on the fourth day of athletics action on Monday.

Isinbayeva headed to London boosted by gold in the 2012 World Indoor Championships but with another failure to clear 4.70m in the Monaco Diamond League meet on July 20.

But the 30-year-old world record holder, who has suffered rare but bitter defeats during the last three seasons, sailed through qualification here, needing only two vaults to secure safe passage to the final.

"I jumped well, but the weather was difficult for pole vaulting," Isinbayeva said of the swirling winds in the Olympic Stadium.

"There was a strong wind in our face. But I feel really confident for the final. I feel in top form."

Isinbayeva failed to record a height in a tear-stained 2009 world championships in Berlin and came just sixth in last year's worlds in Daegu, South Korea.

But in Beijing, she became the first athlete to win consecutive individual gold medals with world records -- 4.91m in Athens in 2004 and 5.05m in the Chinese capital. She has since improved that mark to 5.06m.

There will, however, be a raft of high-profile absentees in the final.

Brazil's reigning world champion Fabiana Murer and Poland's Monika Pyrek, in her fourth Olympics, both failed to qualify.

They were joined by Isinbayeva's Russian arch-rival Svetlana Feofanova, who won silver in Athens and bronze in Beijing.

Women's golds will also be decided in the shot put, with New Zealand's defending world and Olympic champion Valerie Adams big favourite.

Russian defending Olympic champion Gulnara Galkina, who set a world record in her gun-to-tape victory in Beijing, will go in the women's 3000m steeplechase as one of the fastest runners-up after seeming to suffer in her qualifier.

Kenyan Milcah Chemos Cheywa, twice a world bronze medallist, will start as favourite after showing good form this season, with three wins in three Diamond League outings.

The men will compete in the 400m final, with defending champion LaShawn Merritt of the United States absent after pulling up in his heat.

British hope Dai Greene will also be hoping to add the Olympic gold medal to his world title in the 400m hurdles, but will have to rebound from an awful semi-final in which he finished fourth.

Events (finals)

Men: 400m, 400m hurdles

Women:

3000m steeplechase, shot put, pole vault

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