After a couple of days reflecting on her bronze medal from the London Olympics, the 30-year-old Russian great said Wednesday that she has "no reason to stop."
"I'm very optimistic for the future. Now I'm thinking about Rio and, of course, I would like to get the gold from Rio and then retire," Isinbayeva said.
So in a way, her failure to win a third Olympic gold on Monday might have prolonged her career.
"If I had got this gold medal from London, definitely I will stop, I will quit, I will retire," she said. "But the gods say, 'OK, you have to stay a little bit more in the sport, so please continue, don't stop'."
Isinbayeva fell just short of becoming the first woman to win three straight Olympic titles in an individual athletics event.
Her best clearance at 4.70 metres was 5 centimetres less than Jenn Suhr of the United States. It was also 36 cm shy of her outdoor world record of 5.06 metres.
Later that evening, she told reporters her "decision is changing every day" about continuing her career.
She was more positive Wednesday, at an event promoting the Youth Olympic Games, for which she is an ambassador and mentor.
"Definitely I would like to be in Rio but I will be 34 years old," Isinbayeva said. "The important thing I want is to stay healthy and be physically ready for the Games."
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge welcomed her renewed desire as "very, very good news for the sport."
"There are many challenges ahead of you like the Moscow world championships next year in your home city," Rogge told Isinbayeva while sitting beside her at the youth games event. "Why not a new world record?"
The most recent of Isinbayeva's 28 record clearances — and first since 2009 — was a 5.01 indoor mark in Stockholm in February.Suggest a correction