Holly hopes for shot at worlds

First published in Holly Bleasdale

BLACKBURN Harrier Holly Bleasdale believes she has done enough to jump at the World Junior Championships after collecting silver at the Aviva England Under-23 & Under-20 Championships in Bedford.

The 18-year-old pole vaulter travelled to Bedford in red-hot form having increased her British under-20 record to 4.27m at the Northern Athletics Senior & Under 20 Championships last weekend.

However Bleasdale was hampered by the weather at the weekend and had to settle for silver behind Sally Scott courtesy of a best leap of just 4.10m.

Bleasdale matched the qualifying standard for the World Junior Champ-ionship but with only the winner guaranteed initial selection, she now faces an agonising wait to find out her fate.

However the rookie is adamant her perfor-mances before competing at Bedford leave British selectors with no choice but to pick her.

“Considering my warm up and the wind conditions I am pleased with how I did,” said Bleasdale. “I would have liked to have got 4.30m but it wasn’t to be.

“The main thing was qualifying for the World Junior Championships which I think I have done. I know it was first past the post but hopefully I will get selected.

“Because of the wind I was having a big psychological block in running through it and I just couldn’t get my head around it really.

“But I guess it was a good experience to have and hopefully it will make me stronger for it. To come second when not vaulting well is a good sign.

“I had two good attempts at 4.30m and just missed it so I know the big jumps are there – it is just a matter of time now.”

Bleasdale will travel to the Aviva European Trials and UK Champ-ionships this weekend to prove her world junior worth with an appearance at the Super8 following days later.

Hosts Glasgow, Birming-ham, Cardiff, Gateshead, London, Manchester, Ply-mouth and Sheffield have all confirmed their Super8 participation while UK cities have been invited to bid for franchises and the right to hosts events in the future.

Bleasdale finished fifth at the inaugural event in Cardiff last year with a best jump of 3.67m and is adamant she will fare far better this time around.

l Super8 is based on a City v City format, the event was piloted in Cardiff in 2009 and will make a long-anticipated return in Glasgow on Wednesday July 7. Tickets are available by visiting www.uka.org.uk/super8 or Ticket Hotline 08000 55 60 56.

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