Yelena Isinbayeva
The Beijing Olympics confirmed Yelena Isinbayeva’s status as the greatest female pole vaulter in history. She cleared 5.05 metres and created her 24th world record in Beijing to win the gold medal.  It was her ninth major championship career victory - Olympic, World outdoor and indoor and European outdoor and indoor. It is now five years since she broke the world record for the first time with 4.82 metres. She won the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award in 2007.