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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Isinbayeva Tops Bill for Indoor Champs

APIsinbayeva, pictured in Monaco last year, targets a 20th record in Moscow.
Yelena Isinbayeva is coming home, and another world record is looming.

The Russian pole vaulter will be going for her 20th world mark at the World Indoor Championships this weekend in Moscow.

The field for the three-day event also features Ethiopian distance star Kenenisa Bekele, heptathlon rivals Bryan Clay and Roman Sebrle, U.S. sprinter and hurdler Terrence Trammell, and multiple indoor champions Maria Mutola, Ivan Pedroso and Stefan Holm.

Isinbayeva already has improved her indoor record this season, clearing 4.91 meters in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Feb. 12.

But she failed in three attempts to raise the mark to 4.92 meters at a meet in Birmingham, England, three weeks ago, and uncharacteristically has struggled at low heights at other meets.

Isinbayeva, who has cleared 5.01 outdoors, has dominated women's pole vaulting for two years.

Isinbayeva won in Birmingham at 4.79 meters. Anna Rogowska of Poland also cleared that height, losing only because of a higher number of attempts.

Rogowska later improved her personal record to 4.80 and is now second on this year's top list.

With a $50,000 bonus for a world record -- plus a $40,000 reward for winning the gold medal -- Isinbayeva will have a strong incentive to go for the record. She'll also have the support of the home crowd at the Olympic Sports Complex in Moscow.

Another Pole, Monica Pyrek, appears to be a medal contender.

The women's pole vault qualifying is Friday, the opening day of the meet, and the final is Saturday.

Like Isinbayeva, Bekele also missed his attempt at a world record in Birmingham. He was going for the two-mile mark held by countryman Haile Gebrselassie, but ran a slow first mile before picking up the pace in the second.

Bekele will be running the 3,000 meters in Moscow in a race that could be the highlight of the championships.

Bekele, the world and Olympic 10,000-meter champion, will face tough opposition.

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, the 2003 world champion in the 5,000, made his career indoor debut a remarkable one by running the fifth-fastest time in history of 7:33.07 in late January.

Bekele passed the distance in 7:35.1 during his two-mile effort in Birmingham.

World steeplechase champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar also has run under 7:40.

The younger of the Bekele brothers, Tariku, is waiting to emerge from Kenenisa's shadow.

The championships will be without some stars who either opted to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, or who are injured.

The injured include Sweden's Kajsa Bergqvist, who set an indoor high jump record of 2.08 meters in February. Croatia's Branka Vlasic is close behind at 2.05.

Another Swede -- world and Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft -- also is injured and will not compete in the pentathlon.

The men's heptathlon will see the another rematch between Clay of the United States and Sebrle of the Czech Republic.

Clay beat Sebrle for the world decathlon title in August -- after losing to the Czech at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and the world indoor championship in Budapest the same year.

The American duo of Trammell and Leonard Scott will be aiming for a sweep in the 60-meter dash.

Trammell will be attempting an unprecedented double when he also goes for gold in the 60-meter hurdles.

A hamstring injury prevented Trammell from attempting the double at the 2003 world indoors in Birmingham. He won gold in the hurdles in 2001.

Lisa Barber of the United States has run 7.10 seconds or better five times this season in the women's 60 and will be a gold medal favorite.

Russia's Maria Bolikova leads world lists this season with 7.04, while Christine Arron of France has gone three times under 7.10.

Lauryn Williams, the 100-meter outdoor world champion, has ran 7.11 and could get into the mix as well.

Another American, Sanya Richards, will be battling two Russians in the 400 -- Natalya Nazarova and Olesya Krasnomovets.

Several veterans are seeking to add to their already impressive collections.

Mutola of Mozambique is looking for her seventh gold medal in the women's 800, Cuban long jumper Pedroso is seeking his sixth indoor world title and Sweden's Holm is going for his fourth title in the high jump.