8 February 2013
Holly Bleasdale (coach: Dan Pfaff, Scott Simpson) joined children from Phillimore Community Primary School today, as she prepares to defend her UK title at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield this weekend. Bleasdale, who has already secured the European Indoor qualifying standard twice in 2013, is in confident mood after an impressive start to the season.
“Training’s been going really well, I’ve jumped consistently at 4.60m and 4.75m in Moscow, so I’m in really good shape. I had the best session of my life the other day, so I don’t see why anything could go wrong. I really think that I could win my third consecutive title at the EIS on Saturday.”
Bleasdale, who now splits her time between Arizona and Cardiff is excited to be back in the country, and after sampling the British crowd at the British Athletics Glasgow International Match last month, the World Indoor bronze medallist is ready for another warm reception in South Yorkshire.
“The crowd are really important – there are a lot of competitions on outside of the UK, and I’m managing to do three indoor, which is great because the crowd get really behind you and make you jump much better. I’d rather jump in the UK than anywhere else because the crowd plays a big part in pole vault – if you get a clap going, it really makes a difference.”
The Olympic finalist opened her season with a 4.62m clearance in France, before going on to jump 4.60m at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. Last week, The 21 year old saw off competition from World Champion Fabiana Murer and Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva to clear 4.75m and has big aspirations for the indoor season.
“I’m having a really good indoor season so far – I’ve got another couple of competitions and then the European Indoors. I’m the European lead at the moment so hopefully I’ll go there and win a medal. I’d like to win gold, but I don’t want to put much pressure on myself.”
Looking ahead to the summer, Bleasdale is setting her sights on a medal at the World Championships in Moscow, but is not underestimating the challenge that faces her on the quest to make the podium.
“There’s quite a few girls who can jump 4.70m, even 4.80, so it may take an 80 or 85 to win there. Hopefully if I keep jumping consistently, and all the technique I’ve put into place comes together, I think I’ve definitely got a good chance of medalling, maybe even winning.”