When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Denise Lewis: Holly Bleasdale can take London by storm
6:34pm Saturday 23rd June 2012 in Sport
FORMER Olympic champion Denise Lewis insists Britain’s newest pole vault sensation Holly Bleasdale can take London 2012 by storm next month and claim an unexpected position on the podium.
The 20-year-old has burst on to the international stage in the last 18 months, overtaking long-term British number one Kate Dennison but despite her tender years Lewis insists she has the potential to medal on home soil.
Bleasdale is expected to officially seal her place in the British squad at the Olympic trials in Birmingham on Sunday.
Last season Bleasdale continually bettered the British record as she went on to win European under-23 gold, while during the indoor season she set a personal best of 4.87m as she claimed a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
Lewis is predicting even greater things for the Blackburn Harrier as she looks to taken a maiden bow at an Olympic Games in July.
With double Olympic champion and pole vault legend Yelena Isinbayeva in her way the prospect of gold looks slim but Lewis, who claimed heptathlon gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, insists Bleasdale can also become one of the greats.
“Holly has got so much potential, and I think she is a realistic shot for a medal,” said Lewis.
“The pole vault is so unpredictable but she’s still learning her trade and understanding her poles but I know that she now thinks she belongs in that kind of company.
“The youngsters coming through, no matter what sport it is, have so many iconic figures to aim for and aspire to be. It gives youngsters like Holly the opportunity to say ‘I can be there’ and do really well’.
“It’s a huge learning curve and Holly is just starting that.
“She is one to watch in my opinion at London 2012 and whether she delivers a medal in the capital or not, I’m convinced she will go on and become a superstar of British athletics in the not too distant future.”
Lewis admitted the problem with news kids on the block internationally was achieving consistency when it mattered most and also handling the pressure of a major championship.
While not doubting her obvious potential – Lewis insisted it’s about finding the psychological strength and resolve that will decide whether Bleasdale succeeds in London or not.
“I think she’ll cope with the pressure of qualifying for London 2012, she is well within her capabilities to take it in her stride,” added Lewis. “She’s a pretty level-headed person so she’ll be fine. There’s nothing she needs to work on, she just needs to keep her head down, keep doing what she’s doing and she’ll be fine”.
n Holiday Inn is the official hotel provider to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, visit ichotelsgroup.com for information.
Comments are closed on this article.