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Korean Vaulter Gets Lesson from Champ

Posted September. 28, 2006 03:26,   

한국어

The keynote of the lesson that the vault queen of the world gave to the vault queen of Korea was “commitment.” She said that it is sound mindset that brings an athlete to the world class.

Yelena Isinbayeva, the holder of the world record of 5.01m in women’s pole vaulting (24, Russia), met the best female pole-jumper in Korea, Choi Yun-hee (20, Wonkwang Univ.). It was on September 27, just a day before the opening of the Daegu Athletics Meeting 2006 at the auxiliary stadium of Daegu World Cup Stadium.

“Hi, Sinba? Nice to see you!” (‘Sinba’ is a friendly diminutive of her last name in Korean style.) “Privet! (‘Hi’ in Russian), good to see you too!”

Isinbayeva gave Choi an affable greeting as Choi waved her hand from far away while she was jogging. They seemed friendly, although it has been about a year and a half since they parted after their joint training by the end of 2004 in Volgograd, Russia.

As Choi said that her record has been lagging recently, Isinbayeva offered her a brief lesson. “In order to smooth your motions in the air, you have to keep your arms sustaining sturdily when springing away from the pole.” Choi said that she had lessons in Russia as well, which helped her improve her grip on the pole and catch the correct rhythm of her shoulders during the approach run.

Isinbayeva said, “I like Yun-hee in that she ardently exerts herself. She will get good results if she can keep her will strong with faith that she can finally reach her goal.” Fumbling with Isinbayeva’s muscles, Choi said in an encouraged tone that “Look at Sinba’s arms and you’ll see they are as powerful as men’s. I should work myself out like that in order to fly over bars as easily as her.”

Choi’s personal goal for this tournament is to break the Korean record. “I would be satisfied enough if I could learn something from Sinba.”



yjongk@donga.com