Olympic pole vault finalist Holly Bleasdale admits she owes a debt of gratitude to Julien Raffalli, despite splitting with her Sportcity-based coach.
Bleasdale has re-located to Cardiff and is currently warm weather training in Arizona with new coach Dan Pfaff.
But the 21-year-old former Trafford AC star has praised Frenchman Raffalli’s contribution to her career.
“I wouldn’t be doing pole vaulting to the standard I am if it wasn’t for Julien,” said the British record holder and 2012 world indoor bronze medalist.
“I am really grateful for everything he did for me. I owe him so much. But I knew I needed to move on if I wanted to go even higher in the world.
“Julien could not afford to coach me full-time and it was going to be hard for him to come and watch me in competitions all the time. So, I needed to move on and go with someone who could give me that time.”
Bleasdale is already excited by the prospect of competing at Rio 2016 and vaulting under the name Mrs Holly Bradshaw.
Any disappointment at missing an Olympic medal was reduced when boyfriend Paul proposed immediately after her competition.
Bleasdale has been in the United States since early November and doesn’t return to Lancashire until Christmas Eve.
“It’s been great so far and I have already seen a lot of improvement in my vaulting,” she said.
“All the training has made me a more co-ordinated athlete.
“I just can’t wait to put it into practice in the New Year. And I am sure I will pop into Sportcity for some training to keep me ticking over.
“I was mentally drained after London but I have been really motivated to get back into training.”
Holly Bleasdale is working with the SUBWAY® brand to encourage a healthier, more active lifestyle.
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