ISH pole-vault sensation Holly Bleasdale announced her arrival as one of the best home medal hopes for London 2012 by recording the second highest indoor jump of all time yesterday.
Bleasdale, who only took up the sport four years ago, beat her own British indoor record three times as she won in Lyon with a mammoth leap of 4.87m.
The 20-year-old failed in an attempt to beat Yelena Isinbayeva’s all-time best mark of 5m but was delighted with a performance good enough to win all but one of the women’s world titles in history. “I just lay still in astonishment. The crowd was absolutely electric and this was an amazing boost,” Bleasdale said.
“Everyone was on their feet shouting, and when I attempted 5.01m the atmosphere was just out of this world. I’ve never experienced it like that before.”
Bleasdale’s success comes after she switched to longer poles in order to keep up with her rapid improvement last season. The upgrade was funded by sports philanthropist Barrie Wells, whose foundation helps Bleasdale and other Team GB hopefuls such as Jessica Ennis, Jenny Meadows, Dai Greene and Jodie Williams.