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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vaulting Gold No Sweat for Isinbayeva

ReutersYelena Isinbayeva celebrating her win Tuesday in the pole vault final of the World Athletics Championships in Japan.
OSAKA, Japan -- Some champions make the toughest challenge look easy. Count Yelena Isinbayeva among them.

Isinbayeva hadn't taken off her track suit yet when the first finalist was already out in the pole vault. She lay down, towel over head and feet up, when most challengers faltered.

After easily clearing 4.65 meters upon entering the competition, she brazenly skipped heights that could have given her gold earlier. She braided her hair in between world record attempts.

On her second attempt, at 4.80 meters, she won one of the most predictable golds of the World Athletics Championships. It was the second world title in a row for the Olympic champion.

Then she sought her 21st world record at 5.02. It was the only blemish on a near perfect night, failing three times.

She did a neat backflip, waved at the crowd and went to celebrate her gold medal.

Katerina Badurova of the Czech Republic was second at 4.75 on a countback from Russian Svetlana Feofanova.

After the Russians dominated the women's steeplechase on Monday, it was Kenyans who cleaned up in the men's half Tuesday.

Allowing for Kenyan-born two-time champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar, out with an Achilles injury, runners from the African nation have won the last nine world titles.

This time Brimin Kipruto took the honors, with Ezekiel Kemboi earning silver for the second time in a row. Richard Kipkemboi Mateelong finishing third.