Fabiana Murer is an athlete competing in track and field at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for Brazil. She is making her second straight appearance at the Games where she figures to be a gold-medal contender in the women's pole vault. Murer has risen to global prominence in the last two years, winning indoor and outdoor world titles.

Having established herself as an international force in 2010, Murer set her sights on winning a medal at the 2011 World Championships, a feat which had eluded her. After a somewhat inconsistent start to the season, Murer found herself in August, finishing runner-up to American Jenn Suhr at the Diamond League London Grand Prix before heading to Daegu and winning her first outdoor world title with a clearance of 4.85m/15-11, equaling her South American record.

As world-record holder Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia faltered for the first time in her career, Murer capitalized and established herself as the new preeminent vaulter in the world. Her ascent began indoors, where she set a new area record of 4.82m/15-9¾ in winning in Birmingham and later added gold at the World Indoor Championships in Doha with a clearance of 4.80m/15-9. After winning the Ibero-American Championships with a new national-record of 4.85m/15-11, Murer added victories at the Diamond League meets in Rome, Eugene, Monaco, London and Zurich to claim the season title. She closed her season with a bronze medal at the Continental Cup in Split and a sixth national championship.

The 2009 season provided Murer with a mixed bag of results. In June, she improved her national record to 4.82m/15-9¾ at the Troféu Brasil Caixa de Atletismo meet, winning her fifth Brazilian championship in the event, breaking the area record for the 11th time. Things didn't go as well at the World Championships in Berlin, where Murer managed just a height of 4.55m/14-11 and a fifth-place finish. She improved to 4.60m/15-1 at the World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki, good for second place.

Within the borders of Brazil, Murer obviously competed in a comfort zone, winning the South American Championships in Sao Paulo and the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007. But in her major meets outside her home country, the results were not as stellar. In 2007, she finished sixth at the World Championships in Osaka, and the following year she was third at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia but just 10th at the Olympics in Beijing and sixth at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart.

After a slow start to the 2006 season, marked by a dismal 15th-place finish in qualifying at the World Indoor Championships in Moscow, Murer was able to top the podium 10 outdoors. Her first major victory came at the Ibero-American Championships in Ponce, Puerto Rico where she cleared a national-record 4.56m/14-11½. Her best jump of the year came at the Golden League Herculis Meeting in Monaco, which she won at a height of 4.66m/15-3½, establishing a new record for the South American continent. She closed out the year with a runner-up finish at the World Cup and victories at the Brazilian National Championships and South American Championships.

Murer's improvement under Petrov's principles of training was steady, and by 2005 she was beginning to display a consistency that eluded her previously. In her 15 competitions on the year, she cleared at least 4.10m/13-5¼ in 12 of them. On July 9 at the Gaucho meeting in Porto Alegre, Murer upped her national record in the event to 4.40m/14-5¼. A month later, she equaled that mark at the World Championships in Helsinki, finishing seventh in her qualifying flight but missing out on advancing to the final on a countback.

The adjustment period to Petrov's training techniques took more than two seasons to take root, but by the end of the 2003 season things began to click. Continuing her pattern of domestic-only competitions, on Aug. 30 in Sao Paulo, Murer achieved the first four-meter vault of her career. A week later, she upped her personal-best to 4.06m/13-3¾. That progression carried over into 2004, when her season was highlighted by a victory at the Brazilian University Championships, where she cleared a national-record 4.25m/13-11¼.

Perhaps the turning point in Murer's career came in 2001 when Vitaly Petrov, who coach Ukrainian great Sergei Bubka to 35 world records and Yelena Isinbayeva to 27 world marks, went to Brazil and began working with Murer's coach and husband Elson Miranda de Souza. "It was very important to make contact with Vitaly Petrov and learn from him," Murer told infosurhoy.com. "Near the end of 2001, he came to Brazil and started teaching his technique to me. I believed in that work and it completely changed the way I was pole vaulting. Everything was completely different. It took two years to adapt, which was hard, but after that I started seeing results."

Murer began pole vaulting when she was 17. In 1998, she finished 12th in qualifying and did not advance at the World Junior Championships in Annecy, France. The following season, she finished third at the South American Championships at altitude in Bogota, Colombia, and in 2000 she finished 10th at the World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile. Her personal best at that point was 3.90m/12-9½.


How tall is she? How old is she? Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: 36 years old
Birthday: March 16, 1981
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 141 lbs.
Birthplace: Campinas, Brazil
Current Residence: Sao Paulo, Brazil

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