Holly Bleasdale starts countdown to Rio early as move to Cardiff pays dividends

Holly Bleasdale is already planning for the Rio Olympics as she aims to avoid a repeat of her 2012 disappointment.

Sky Sports News spent a day at the National Indoor Athletics Centre with the British pole vault record holder, who was in tears following her sixth-placed finish in London last summer.

Bleasdale has since relocated to Cardiff, where her intensive work with coach Scott Simpson brought the reward of a gold medal at the Indoor World Championships in Gothenburg earlier this year.

And the 22-year-old Sky Scholar has a long-term strategy – starting with next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“I was devastated with how I’d done in London,” said Bleasdale, who is due to marry fiance Paul next year. “Jumping 4.45m in an Olympic final is not what i wanted to do – I had my heart set on at least 4.70m.


“I really want 2014 to be special. There’s a lot going on with basically a home championship in the Commonwealth Games, which I’m really looking forward to, and the wedding is going to be really fun.

“Rio for me is a massive, massive goal. I think with set-up I’ve got we can really push towards it and make that my main focus.

“All the girls I’m competing against in the top 10 are between the ages of 27 and 31, and pole vault’s really an event where the more you do it, the more you get better.

“I feel really lucky to be in such a great place, and I’m really happy with what I’ve got now.”






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