POLE vaulter Holly Bradshaw revealed she was just trying to have fun in the European Championships final and her approach paid off as she claimed a brilliant bronze.

The Blackburn Harrier hit her mark with her first two jumps and cleared 4.75m at the third attempt to take third in Berlin.

Silver and gold both went to Greece, with Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou hitting 4.80m and Ekaterini Stefanidi setting a new championship record at 4.85m.

Bradshaw was delighted to claim a first senior outdoor medal.

“I’m very happy,” said Bradshaw, 26. “I knew it would be a battle trying to get one of the medals, there was obviously two standout favourites but I knew bronze would be up for grabs.

“In the end I managed to get it, I felt like I jumped really well, it’s my first outdoor medal not as a junior or an under-23 so I’m really happy with that.

“It was my first Europeans so I didn’t really know what to expect, it just felt like it was a worlds or an Olympics.

“The standard of the field was so good and all those girls are probably the top seven that I’d see in a world or Olympic final.

“I felt really calm, I was just having fun and trying to focus on myself and clearing that bar!”

Bradshaw, the British women’s record holder, was the only member of the team to make it into the final after compatriots Lucy Bryan and Molly Caudery failed to make it through qualifying.

Bradshaw recorded a season’s best clearance of 4.80m at Jockgrim last month and couldn’t hit that mark, but is in hugely impressive form after injury struggles in recent years.

She added: “It’s the first time in four years that I’ve been able to put a whole year of training in because I’ve not had injury or surgery.

“I felt really confident, I felt I could build it this year and my vaulting is definitely better than it’s ever been.

“To come away with a medal means so much to me because of my struggles over the last couple of years, this season’s definitely been one of my best and to have this now is just fabulous.”

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