British record-holder Holly Bleasdale improves her own UK pole vault best
It was only intended to be a competition to break up her winter training, but Holly Bleasdale came away from today’s Pole Vault Elite Tour meeting in Orleans, France, with more than the reassurance that her training has been going well. She ended up breaking her own UK record.
Bleasdale, who turned 20 last month, had an incredible summer in which she improved her PB by 35 centimetres, broke the UK record and won the European Under-23 title. But the Blackburn athlete has this winter clearly picked up where she left off and is already in superb form.
What made her performance today all the more impressive was the fact she was competing off just a 12-stride approach. She opened at 4.21m, then cleared 4.36m and 4.51m at the first time of asking.
Two attempts were needed at 4.61m, but then Bleasdale upped the bar to 4.71m and she cleared it on her first try. She ended with three failed attempts at 4.81m, but had done more than enough to win the competition, finishing 20cm ahead of Frenchwoman Vanessa Boslak.
As the performance exceeds the UK outdoor record, Bleasdale’s 4.71m becomes the absolute UK record. The previous UK indoor best stood at 4.60m, set by Kate Dennison in 2010.
Bleasdale now ranks at No.12 on the world indoor all-time list, and her 4.71m is easily the best ever performance achieved in the month of December, suggesting there could be a lot more to come by the end of the indoor season and indeed through the summer of 2012.
Bleasdale’s training partner, Katie Byres, also made her own bit of history. Her 4.16m clearance for fifth place was a UK indoor junior record.