Great Britain’s Holly Bradshaw was unable to claim a medal in the pole vault at the World Championships in Beijing, despite producing a season’s best performance.
The Sky Academy Scholar vaulted 4.70 metres to finish in a very respectable seventh spot in a classy field, as Cuba’s Yarisley Silva took the gold after clearing 4.90m at the third attempt.
Fellow Scholar Mark English was another athlete to impress on the world stage without reward after narrowly missing out in the 800m semi-finals.
It was a stunning effort from the 23-year-old Bradshaw who only recently returned to competition after a 16-month absence because of a niggling back injury and opting to focus on preparing for the outdoor season.
The Preston star told Sky Sports News HQ: “I’ve missed a lot of training this year because of injury after injury and we’ve made a lot of sacrifices cutting out running sessions.
“But now we’ve got a clean slate and we can start again. If I can jump like that then I can jump 4.80-90m which is what it will take for a medal at the Rio Games.”
On preparation for the Olympics in Brazil, she added: “It will take a lot of work. I am very lucky to have Sky following me. They do everything they can to help me. I got an amazing text from my mentor Darren Campbell before the final which was amazing. It’s great to have them backing me.
“I’m so happy. It’s been really tough the past couple of years. To be rewarded with a 4.70m clearance and a top eight in the world is great.”
Having eased her way back into competing again in June with victory at the Welsh Championships, the former European Indoor champion was crowned UK champion at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham and predicted that she would soon be leaping 4.70m.
That proved the case inside a packed Bird’s Nest Stadium on Wednesday and it’s no shame the rising vaulting star finished away from the podium going up against an illustrious field.
Silva secured her first world championship title three years after agonisingly missing out on gold at the London Olympics after a countback.
Fabiana Murer of Brazil, the 2011 world champion, held the lead when she cleared 4.85 at her first attempt but missed all three attempts at the next height. Greece’s Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou won bronze with 4.80.
Overall, it has been a pretty impressive few days for Scholars Bradshaw and 800m runner English, who still has a chance to win a medal when the Irishman runs in the relay on Sunday.