Now get me cheesecake! Sweet victory as Brit Bleasdale grabs vault-off gold
Holly Bleasdale grabbed gold in a dramatic ‘vault-off’ at the European Indoor Championships — then celebrated her first major title by tucking into cheesecake.
The 21-year-old was given the option of sharing gold with Polish rival Anna Rogowska or competing in pole vaulting’s equivalent of a penalty shoot-out.
She opted for the latter and held her nerve to clear 4.67 metres and become Great Britain’s first European pole vault champion just four years after taking up the event at a taster session.
Golden girl: Holly Bleasdale celebrates winning the pole vault in Sweden
‘Instead of sharing the gold, I thought why not have it to myself,’ said Bleasdale. ‘I wanted to carry on jumping. I thought why not take the risk.’
Asked how she would mark the win, she added: ‘My favourite pudding is cheesecake so I think I’m going to find one and eat it all!’
It had been a fraught week for Bleasdale. On Friday, she required a visit from the doctor after spraying some perfume in her eyes. With renewed clarity after an eye bath she came through qualification.
In the final, she again demonstrated her composure by remaining calm, despite rattling the bar on her second attempt at 4.67m, when failure would have spelt her exit from the event.
Done it! Bleasdale realises she has clinched gold as she completes her jump
‘I was fourth at that point and it was hard to stay positive, but, thankfully, I did,’ she added. ‘I gave it a clatter with my belly but thank God it stayed up.’
Bleasdale shared the credit for her victory with Dan Pfaff, the American super coach whom she teamed up with after finishing sixth at the Olympics last August. Under his tutelage she has altered her run-up and uses longer poles. The alterations have paid dividends this season and seen her soar to a world leading height of 4.77m.
Bleasdale’s long-time mentor and team captain Jenny Meadows embraced her on the track at the Scandinavium Arena and says the prodigous talent has designs on becoming the world’s greatest.
‘I’m sharing a room with Holly and she came here expecting to become champion,’ said Meadows. ‘She’s a phenomenal talent. She thinks she can jump 5.20m in her career and I do, too!’
Up in the air: Bleasdale came through a vault-off to win the European title
That would put her well clear of Yelena Isinbayeva, the Russian multiple champion who won at both the Athens and Beijing Olympics and holds the outdoor (5.06m) and indoor (5.01m) world records.
James Dasaolu had to settle for 60m silver in a photo-finish, throwing himself over the line in the same 6.48sec as the winner, France’s Jimmy Vicaut.
Those were the first two GB medals at a Championships where head coach Peter Eriksson wants to better the nine-medal tally of Paris two years ago. But Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz was only sixth.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2287179/Holly-Bleasdale-wins-European-pole-vault-gold.html#ixzz2MWtnOXwf
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