Holly Bleasdale breaks own British pole vault record

Holly Bleasdale continued her rapid rise to prominence by breaking her own British pole vault record at a meeting in France.

The 20-year-old cleared 4.71 metres at the first attempt to improve her previous best by one centimetre .

The Chorley-based athlete, who only turned pro in 2010, was delighted with her indoor showing.

"I was so happy when I cleared 4.61m but, when I cleared 4.71m, I was ecstatic," she said.

It caps a remarkable year for Bleasdale, who won the European Under-23 title in July.

Women's pole vault records

  • World and European record - 5.06m (Yelena Isinbayeva in 2009)
  • Olympic record - 5.05m (Yelena Isinbayeva in 2008)

She failed to register a height at the World Championships in Daegu, but this latest jump marks her out as a genuine medal contender for the London 2012 Olympics.

The record was even more remarkable, given the fact she was competing off a 12-stride approach as opposed to her usual 16 strides.

"I knew I had capabilities of getting 4.61 but getting 4.71 in competition was such a surprise," said Bleasdale, who only entered the competition in Orleans to break up her winter training.

"Training has been going amazing and I was really confident and just wanted to have fun seeing as it was just a small competition off a short approach and I did not taper for it.

"I can't wait to see what I can vault off 16 strides."

Bleasdale's training partner, Katie Byres, cleared 4.16m to earn fifth place and become the UK indoor junior record-holder.