Pfaff, an expert in multiple disciplines who guided Greg Rutherford to Olympic long-jump glory and amputee Jonnie Peacock to victory in the T44 100 metres at the Paralympics, has agreed to coach the 20 year-old, who finished equal sixth at the Olympics and is one of Britain’s outstanding prospects.

The arrangement will involve Bleasdale in some transatlantic travelling because Pfaff has now returned to his home in Texas to be with his family, but the Lancashire athlete is hoping his knowledge and experience can turn her into a world-beater.

“He’s done a great job with Greg and Jonnie and hopefully he’ll be able to improve me technically and get me more conditioned to help me jump higher,” she said.

Pfaff, 58, who coached Canadian Donovan Bailey to the Olympic 100m gold medal in Atlanta in 1996, has already proved his pole-vault credentials by guiding Steve Lewis to the men’s UK record and fifth place in the Olympic final in London — the best-ever result by a British pole vaulter.

Bleasdale will now train alongside Lewis, with both athletes dividing their time between their new headquarters in Cardiff and Pfaff’s training base in Phoenix, Arizona, where they will link up with the American — as well as Rutherford and Peacock – for extended training camps before Christmas and between the indoor and outdoor seasons next year. Pfaff will also travel to Europe to watch his athletes compete during their indoor and outdoor campaigns.


Holly Bleasdale
Holly Bleasdale

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