Anzhelika Sidorova, a world champion and Olympic medalist in Women’s Pole Vault, announced her retirement from track and field at age 32.
This week, the 32-year-old shared the news in a heartfelt Instagram post, telling fans that she’s finally putting an end to her athletic career.
“I think many of you already understood what this was all about, and it seems that it is time to put an end to it,” Sidorova wrote. “All year, from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I persuaded myself to take my time, gave myself a chance to change my mind, but it didn’t work.”
Sidorova went on to explain in the post that she has stopped enjoying track and field completely over the last few years and that she won’t be going back to the sport in the future.
Sidorova won the World Championships 2019 in Doha, Qatar, where she won the Pole vault competition in a dramatic fashion, clearing 4.95 meters on her third and last attempt. In the same year, the Russian athlete also won the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
In 2021, Sidorova achieved two incredible feats in just one year—clinching a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics with a record of 4.85 meters and achieving her personal best of 5.01 meters in Diamond League final in Zurich.
Sidorova in history
Anzhelika Sidorova has announced her retirement ❤️
2nd highest vaulter of all time – 5.01m
World Championship 🥇
European Outdoor 🥇
World Indoor 🥈🥈
European Indoor 🥇🥇🥉 pic.twitter.com/VG2z3EM61p
— Owen M (@_OwenM_) December 9, 2023
By overcoming the stupendous height of 5 meters, Sidorova took her place in pole vault history, as that record was only second to Yelena Isinbayeva’s world record of 5.06 meters, which coincidentally was also set in Zurich.
Sidorova also became only the fourth woman in the world to have achieved the 5-meter height, after Yelena Isinbayeva, Jenn Suhr, and Sandi Morris, as reported by sportskeeda.com.
From 2017 to 2021, Sidorova participated in international competitions as an ‘authorized neutral athlete’ because her country’s athletics federation has been suspended since 2015 over widespread doping. Nevertheless, the preconceived notions regarding Russian athletes during that time didn’t stop her from dominating the scene.
Retirement linked to Russia’s ban?
While some bid Sidorova goodbye and wished her well, others speculated that her retirement had something to do with Russia’s ongoing ban on track and field.
Wow, I consider her a strong gold medal contender whenever she’s in form. I guess being banned made her (along with others e.g. Lasitskene) fall out of love with the sport a bit. Hope she enjoys her life post-athletics
— AJT (@ATJ_main) December 9, 2023
I hope Coe is happy that his stupid decision to ban Russian athletes is hurting our sport, let’s see whether isreal will get the same treatment
— Phantom (@nazylamar9) December 9, 2023
This week, Sebastian Coe, president of the World Athletics, reiterated the governing body’s stance that it would not let Russian and Belarusian track and field athletes compete in the upcoming Olympics.
Cover Photo: IG