As part of our event-by-event look back at the Olympics, this time it’s the turn of the women’s pole vault
The women’s pole vault has only been held four times at the Olympics. The event debuted in the World Championships in 1999 and world champion and world record-holder Stacy Dragila became the first Olympic champion in Sydney in 2000.
Yelena Isinbayeva set the world record in 2003 but could finish only third in the World Championships. However, she was far more confident in Athens in 2004 and won with a world record 4.91m to defeat world champion and compatriot Svetlana Feofanova.
Isinbayeva continued to dominate the event and improved the world record to 5.05m in winning a second title in Beijing in 2008.
American Jenn Suhr was second and Feofanova finished third.
In London, Isinbayeva could only clear 4.70m but won the bronze medal as Suhr took gold on countback from Cuban Yarisley Silva.
Britain’s Holly Bleasdale (now Bradshaw) finished equal sixth for the best British result in the event.
The Russian bounced back to win the 2013 world title but didn’t compete in the 2015 championships where Silva won gold from 2011 champion Fabiana Murer.
Those two will probably start as favourites for Rio along with Suhr unless the Russian suspension ends and Isinbayeva returns to form.
» Check out editions of Athletics Weekly magazine from September 24, 2015, for more from our ‘Countdown to Rio’ series
» For the full Olympic history: Women’s pole vault feature, including a complete list of medallists and further facts and stats, see the December 10, 2015, edition of AW magazine