By Duncan Mackay

Yelena Isinbayeva_Doha_press_conference_2010October 11 - Yelena Isinbayeva, Russia's double Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder, has thrown her support behind Doha's bid to host the 2017 World Ahletics Championships as the race to sign-up big name celebrities hots up.


Isinbayeva's backing for the Qatari capital came only a day after London, Doha's only rivals, unveiled Ethiopia's double Olympic 10,000 metres champion Haile Gebrselassie as one of their ambassadors.

Isinbayeva, 29, has come out in favour of Doha despite the city being the scene of one of her biggest disappointments.

It was there at the World Indoor Championships last year that she failed to clear a height, a performance that led to her taking a long break from the sport.

But that does not appear to have affected her memories of the event. 

"The IAAF World Championships in Doha will certainly set new standards," she said.

"Doha did a great job organising the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships that I competed at and I believe that every athlete that competes in Doha in 2017 would have a truly unique and amazing experience."

Abdulla Al-Zaini, President of the Qatar Asssociation of Athletic Federations (QAAF) and executive director of the Doha 2017 Bid Committee, was thrilled with the backing of Isinbayeva, who has set 27 world records, two of which came in London, including the first five metre jump by a woman at Crystal Palace in 2005.

"Our bid for 2017 is about hosting a fantastic World Championships but also about breaking barriers in the region," he said.

"We are honoured to have such a talented female athlete supporting us."

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