Holly Bleasdale has said she is “unbelievably happy” following her return to competition after injury.
The British pole vault record holder only competed once outdoors this season – in Gateshead in June where she failed to clear her opening height of 4.25m at the European Championships – having struggled with Achilles and back problems.
But the 22-year-old returned to competitive action in Lyon this weekend, clearing 4.61m at the first meeting of the French “Perche Elite Tour” – the INSA Perch’formance – on her second attempt to win ahead of Sweden’s Angelica Bengtsson, the world junior indoor and outdoor record-holder, with 4.41m.
“I’m so unbelievably happy to be back healthy and doing the thing I love the most! Won’t ever take it for granted!” she tweeted, adding the hastags “#polevault #love”.
Bleasdale, who won gold at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg in March following a dramatic pole vault jump-off with Poland’s Anna Rogowska, changed her coaching set-up earlier this year when she switched her training base back to the UK to work full time with Scott Simpson. She had previously been splitting her time between Arizona and Wales, having spent the winter being guided by Dan Pfaff.
It was also in Villeurbanne that Bleasdale set the UK indoor record of 4.87m in January 2012, going to third on the indoor all-time list.
Also in action in Lyon, British champion Luke Cutts set a personal best of 5.71m on his first attempt to see him victorious ahead of the likes of Greek athlete Konstadinos Filippidis with 5.61m.
» For full results from Villeurbanne click here
At the Telford 10k, Louise Damen ran a PB to break the women’s course record while Jonny Mellor claimed victory in the men’s race.
“Pleased to round off 2013 with a PB & course rec at #Telford10k this morning,” tweeted Damen. “Thanks to @Telford_AC for organising a fast, friendly race!”
Clocking 32:47 she finished almost a minute clear of Juliet Potter with 33:36 and Amy Whitehead who crossed the line in a 33:43 personal best for third.
A time of 29:39 saw Mellor cross clear ahead of Conor Bradley with a 29:52 PB and Steve Mitchell who also ran a PB of 29:55.