UK No.1 clears 4.73m as she secures her spot for the world championships
Holly Bradshaw was a class apart in claiming her 12th national pole vault title at the Müller British Athletics Championships on Sunday, booking her place on the team heading to the IAAF World Championships in Doha in the process.
The national record-holder broke her own championship best with her clearance of 4.73m as she added another gold medal to her record number of wins which now stands at seven outdoor British titles and five victories indoors.
Entering the competition at 4.51m, Bradshaw had the competition won with her very first vault as she soared over the bar on her first go.
She went on to clear 4.63m on her first attempt and the 4.73m championship record on her second go before three attempts at a would-have-been British outdoor record of 4.82m.
It came after a long and hot wait of around 90 minutes to begin jumping and the European bronze medallist only started competing after all the other members of the field had already exited the competition, with Sophie Cook securing silver with a PB-equalling 4.36m and Lucy Bryan claiming bronze with a 4.25m clearance.
“I always love the British Champs. I love being in front of a home crowd and I love competing in Birmingham when the conditions are good and boy, the conditions were good today,” said Bradshaw, speaking one week after a windy Müller Grand Prix at the same stadium.
“It was pretty much like an indoor meet – you didn’t even have to look at the wind sock and as a pole vaulter that’s what you want.
“I had a bit of a long wait so when I was attempting the British record I actually felt like I lost a lot of energy and I couldn’t run properly but overall I’m really happy.”
.@HollyBradshawPV talks about claiming her 12th British pole vault title, combining indoor and outdoor wins, as she cleared a championship record of 4.73m yesterday, plus what it is that she does while waiting to enter the competition #MullerBritishChamps pic.twitter.com/wUJdw8ELaP
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) August 26, 2019
Abigail Irozuru, Shara Proctor and Morgan Lake all joined her in also securing world championships spots.
In the long jump, a resurgent Irozuru continued to prove that reversing her retirement was the right decision to make as she improved on her 2012 PB of 6.80m with a 6.86m leap to win her first national outdoor gold.
Proctor’s silver medal-winning leap was just 2cm off Irozuru’s top mark and a qualifying standard for the world championships, while Jazmin Sawyers was just a single centimetre off the Doha mark with her 6.71m leap for bronze.
Lorraine Ugen finished fourth with 6.68m, while world para athletics champion Olivia Breen leapt 4.84m.
“I’ve been waiting seven years for a personal best,” said a delighted Irozuru. “I’ve had three surgeries, loads of injuries, been retired and now I’m back and in the form of my life. It’s a really incredible feeling.”
"I've been waiting seven years for a personal best. I've had three surgeries, loads of injuries, been retired & now I'm back & in the form of my life. It's a really incredible feeling." Interview with @Airozuru after her British long jump title win. See tomorrow's AW for more! pic.twitter.com/STSRBY9Jof
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) August 28, 2019
Lake cleared a season’s best of 1.94m on her third attempt to win the high jump title ahead of heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who had another busy afternoon.
After throwing 40.07m in the javelin, having also contested the 100m hurdles and shot put the day before, Johnson-Thompson cleared 1.90m before three unsuccessful attempts at 1.94m.
Bronze went to Nikki Manson with a 1.84m clearance.
The javelin was won by Laura Whittingham as she saved her best throw of 52.39m until last to take the title ahead of Emma Hamplett with 51.01m and Bethan Rees with 49.19m.
Paralympic and world champion Hollie Arnold threw a season’s best of 41.99m.