British pole vault rivalry spurring Dennison on to greater heights

Kate Dennison claims losing the British pole vault record she once owned to 20-year-old Holly Bleasdale has provided all the motivation she needs going into the London Olympics.

Dennison broke the national record 10 times in 2009, netting a nice bonus of around £5,000 a time, before Bleasdale blew it out of the water with a clearance of 4.70 metres last summer.

Bleasdale extended the mark to 4.87m during the indoor season this year, while Dennison’s best is 4.61m from last year.

Determined: Kate Dennison hopes to regain her status as Britain’s No 1

But the 28-year-old believes that domestic rivalry is just what she needs ahead of the biggest summer of her career.

‘I think in the past maybe I have (rested on my laurels),’ the psychology graduate said.

‘I jumped 4.60m three years ago and I’ve only jumped 4.61m last year. I need to step it up and hopefully competing with Holly will help me do that.

‘It was very tough last year, but I felt like I had to deal with it (Bleasdale’s emergence) last year and it’s been dealt with now.

Flying high: Dennison previously enjoyed complete dominance in Britain

‘It’s time to move on. Holly will do what Holly will do and I’ll do what I do.

‘The British record’s great to have, but at the end of the day I’m still trying to jump personal bests and that’s the way I looked at each British record, as a personal best, and hopefully I can still carry on and jump a personal best soon.’

The South Africa-born athlete, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, cleared 4.50m at the opening Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha last week to get the Olympic ‘A’ standard in the bag.

She did not complete a full indoor season as she recovered from a stress fracture of the shin – a legacy of last year’s World Championships – but still jumped 4.52m.

 And she has her sights set on the 4.70m mark this summer.

‘I think I’m worth more than 4.60m,’ Dennison said. ‘I feel like I’m behind where I want to be so I need to step it up quickly this year.

‘I would like to be in the 4.70m bracket at least, that would be a nice start and hopefully I can build on that.’

By By Sportsmail Reporter

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