KATE Dennison warmed up for the London Olympics by setting a season’s best.
The Alsager 28-year-old – who made her Olympic debut in Beijing but failed to qualify for the final – cleared 4.56m in Lucerne, Switzerland on Tuesday night. It is still some way from rival and fellow South Cheshire athlete Holly Bleasdale’s British record of 4.71m.
South African-born Dennison, whose parents live in Poplar Drive, has been staying in Monte Gordo, Portugal with the GB athletics team for a 10-day holding camp and was due to move into the athletes village today before pole vault qualification on August 4. The final is scheduled for August 6.
Her success in Lucerne will give her heart, having scraped through qualifying last month with just 4.26m. At that time, she said she was determined to put her disappointing qualifying performance behind her and was confident she could pull a result out of the bag when it mattered.
She said: “I had mixed emotions initially because I didn’t jump very high but it was enough to come second and I suppose that is the whole point of the trials,” she said. “It’s a massive relief because you’re expected to do well and I was expected to make the team and it just adds more pressure.
“It was strange competition and tough one but now hopefully I can just focus on jumping a lot higher because technically I’m jumping well.
“In training I’ve jumped a couple of 4.50s so I feel I’m worth so much more but I haven’t done it in competitions. It’s about doing it when it matters now.”
by: Will Harris