BLACKBURN Harriers athlete Holly Bleasdale strengthened her chances of a medal at August’s World Championships after smashing the British women’s pole vault record on Saturday – and setting a new world record for a teenager.

The 19-year-old from Euxton claimed a bronze medal at last year’s World Junior Championships and has made incredible progress during 2011 to now put herself in contention for a medal at the senior World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Bleasdale jumped 4.70m at the Bauhaus Junioren Gala in the German city of Mannheim to oblierate the previous British record – a height of 4.60m set by Kate Dennison in 2009.

Saturday’s jump was the best height ever set by a teenager - eclipsing the achievements of Russian Yelena Isinbayeva, the holder of the senior world record of 5.06m, at the same age.

Bleasdale improved her personal best by 17 centimetres and told the Lancashire Telegraph that there may be potential to jump even higher after studying the video of Saturday’s jump.

She said: “I looked back at the video with my coach and I was about 20 centimetres over the bar, which was scary more than anything.

"I just thought, ‘Gosh’.

“I’m really pleased. I thought I could jump 4.70m but I didn’t expect to do it in that event. But it was a quick track and good weather in Mannheim.

“My coach went through the stats and said it was a world record for a 19-year-old and I was joint fourth in the world this year now (at senior level).

“I have really wanted the British record for a while so I was so pleased to jump 4.60m before 4.65m and 4.70m.”