BLACKBURN Harriers athlete Holly Bleasdale finished fifth for Great Britain in the pole vault competition at the European Team Championships on Saturday.
The 19-year-old from Chorley secured a bronze medal at last year’s World Junior Championships and has now become Great Britain’s number one at senior level after being selected for the European Team Championships ahead of the more experienced Kate Dennison.
Bleasdale then finished in a respectable fifth position in Stockholm on Saturday after jumping 4.40m – 20 centimetres short of the medal places.
She could now have her sights set on a place in August’s World Championships in South Korea along with fellow Blackburn Harriers competitor Sophie Hitchon, who was also involved in Stockholm on Saturday.
The Burnley hammer thrower won gold at the World Junior Champi-onships in 2010 and has similarly climbed to number one status in the senior ranks.
Hitchon, also 19, finished eighth for Great Britain in the European Team Championships at the weekend with a throw of 66.05m – little more than three metres behind the medal places.
Andy Turner and Charlene Thomas were the notable success stories as Great Britain just missed out on a podium place in Stockholm.
Turner, who has set five of the best six times in the 110 metres in Europe this season, won with a time of 13.64 seconds in wet and windy conditions.
Thomas came through the field to win the 1500 metres in four minutes 6.85 seconds.
Other notably performances came from Helen Clitheroe, the European Indoor champion over 3,000m, as she produced her lifetime best in the 5,000m – finishing third behind Spain’s Delores Checa – while Gareth Warburton clocked a season’s best in an impressive outing in the 800m.
But hopes of pipping the Ukraine to third place ended when the men’s 4x400m were disqualified. Michael Bingham’s attempt to hand over to Richard Buck for the final lap ended with the baton on the floor. Bingham then threw the baton to Buck, leading to a disqualification.
“A total anti-climax,” said coach Charles van Commenee. “Richard Buck went too soon, but that comes with relay running, there is just no excuse.”