BLACKBURN Harrier pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale insisted she had enjoyed her first experience of the Olympic stadium, despite a nightmare journey and temperatures in single figures.
World indoor bronze medallist Bleasdale had a six-and-a-half-hour car journey from her native Lancashire to east London, and then had to carry her poles through the Westfield Shopping Centre to get to the stadium.
It was therefore hardly surprising that the 20-year-old only finished second to compatriot Kate Dennison with a best of 4.35 metres.
But Chorley-born Bleasdale had no complaints about the experience, and the European Under-23 champion said: “The track feels really good and the stadium is amazing.
“It’s just made me more excited to train harder and make sure I am back here in August.”
She added: “I’ve not prepared for the competition at all. I had weights and a really hard track session yesterday and I got lactic (acid) halfway through the competition in my legs.
“It took me six and a half hours to get down here in a car and then I had to walk my poles through the shopping centre and across the road, so it wasn’t ideal preparation.
“But I’ve really enjoyed the experience and I know where everything is now, so I don’t regret coming down here at all.
“There was a bit of a headwind and it was quite swirly, but it was good to come and experience that ahead of the Games because now I can be confident coming into it.
“Maybe that wind would affect other people but now I’ve had a bit of practice.
“My legs felt awful but the track is really hard which means it’s really quick, so even though I didn’t feel great I’m really excited to come back here and I definitely think I can do a big PB here.”
Bleasdale was one of several leading British athletes at the student BUCS Championships, the official athletics test event for the £500 million stadium that will be the centrepiece of this summer’s Games.