Yelena Isinbayeva winked at the camera, already celebrating her second straight pole vault title as she attempted to break her world record.
"I'm always under high attention," the 25-year-old Russian pole vaulter said. "Everyone expects something from me."
That is what happens when you set 20 indoor and outdoor world records.
She fell short of setting another Tuesday night at the world track and field championships, missing on all three attempts at the height of 5.02 meters, 1 centimeter higher than the record she set at the 2005 worlds.
"I was so close," Isinbayeva said. "I felt I came over (the bar), and when I saw the bar fall down I said, 'Noooo.' It's OK. Next time it will happen for sure."
For all her success, Isinbayeva decided she needed to step back to move forward. She spent last season dissecting her pole-vaulting technique.
She didn't set any world records last season, but she promises a record will happen soon.
Isinbayeva was calm and relaxed as she went about the task of attempting to set a new world mark. Between her first and second world-record attempts, she sat down and braided her hair. She also walked over to the edge of the infield to talk to her coach, and then winked at the camera as she returned.
"This was fun," she said.
But maybe not as much fun for her competitors. At a news conference before the championships, Isinbayeva was asked if she could be defeated. Without hesitation, she answered, "No."
"The only small disappointment is that I did not jump the world record," Isinbayeva said. "I wanted to show everybody something special."
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