Rome, Jul 13: Yelena Isinbayeva brilliantly raised her world pole vault record to 5.03metres at the IAAF Golden League meeting in Rome. In her first competition of the summer season, Isinbayeva added two centimetres to the height which won her the World Championships title in Helsinki almost three years ago.
The 26-year-old Russian, who has dominated the pole vault since winning the 2004 Olympic title, had a narrow miss with her first attempt at the new height. Isinbayeva then soared over with her next, taking her tally to 12 outdoor and 10 indoor world records in a career which has seen her win world and European Championship gold medals on top of her Olympic success.
The clash between Jeremy Wariner and LaShawn Merritt easily lived up to the billing of track highlight in the fourth leg of the GL series.
Wariner, the reigning Olympic and world gold medallist despite twice losing to his fellow American this summer, came out on top - but it was a race that went to the wire after Merritt looked to have stolen victory.
Allyson Felix, hoping to be part of the USA's 4x400m squad in Beijing, claimed her one-lap race so easily it seems, despite the massive pool of talent available for their team, the selectors cannot ignore her claim.
Blanca Vlasic and Pamela Jelimo remain the only two competitors with a chance of winning outright or sharing the IAAF Golden League US$1 million jackpot after Bershaen Jackson (400m), Hussein Al-Sabee (long jump) and Josephine Onyia (100m hurdles), failed to win their events.
High jumper Vlasic cleared 2.00m to score a 32nd successive victory since last losing at the Oslo Golden League meeting last year.
Teenager Jelimo again defeated fellow Kenyan and world champion Janeth Jepkosgei over 800m by over three seconds in a meeting record of 1min 55.69sec.