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.
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.