Holly Bleasdale takes victory at the European Indoor Championships in Sweden
The Preston born athletics sensation, who was brought up and still lives in Euxton near Chorley, has won gold in the pole vault at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg following a jump-off with Poland’s Anna Rogowska.
The 21 year old beat the reigning champion as she claimed Britain’s first medal of the championships.
One time Blackburn Rovers trialist Holly has enjoyed a meteoric rise having only begun training in the pole event just over four years ago. After a disappointing performance in the Olympic pole vault (she finished sixth) last year she now has her first major championship medal and is one of the world’s best.
After tough training camps in the US with her new coach Dan Pfaff, Holly has gained much needed confidence. At the Olympics she says her nerves took hold and she relied on her previous coach, Julien Raffalli-Ebezant, far too much when she thought the conditions for her jump were not in her favour. Her sustained improvement since the Olympics have been technical as much as psychological. She made significant adjustments to her run-up and begun using longer poles.
Demonstrating her new found confidence, Holly could have settled for a share of the gold medal after tying for first place at the Championships. But she decided to risk it all on a jump-off. “I wanted the gold medal all to myself” she said.