Consistency key for Olympic pole vaulter

Olympic-bound pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale knows it will take consistency rather than a bolt from the blue if she is to grab a medal at London 2012.


And the 20-year-old Preston athlete is confident that her improvements this season have set her up perfectly for a bid at glory in the capital.

But Bleasdale's perfect preparations were blown a bit off course last week when her boyfriend's car broke down en route to collecting her Team GB kit in Loughborough.

Not much can fluster Bleasdale, who set a UK outdoor record at the Olympic Trials, but she admitted that the prospect of missing out on her bespoke athletics gear gave her a real fright.

But the Lancastrian insisted that come the evening of August 6, and the women's pole vault final, there won't be any similar slip-ups.

"I was really panicking that I wouldn't get my kit because everyone has said it's a really good experience and good fun and obviously you're going to need it," said Bleasdale, whose UK record stands at 4.71m.

"I feel good about how I'm jumping. I came third in Monaco at the Diamond League and that's given me a great confidence boost - everyone that was competing there, bar a few, will be in the Olympic final.

"My technique this year has been much better and although I'm not getting quite as high, I'm more consistent and that makes me more certain to jump 4.70 every time."

Bleasdale's PB stands at a 4.87m, secured indoors in January, and she'll need to replicate that kind of form at the Olympic Stadium if she's to beat two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva and sweep gold.

However, Bleasdale is not getting carried away with dreams of beating the Russian but she does believe she can win a medal.

"There's quite a lot of girls that could get a medal, it depends on how the girls are feeling," she added.

"I need to concentrate and jump as high as I can. Hopefully that height will be good enough for a medal, if it's not I'll still be pleased anyway because I'm young and I just want to go there and enjoy the experience."

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