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Holly Bleasdale
Holly Bleasdale

02 July 2011

World Junior Championships bronze medallist Holly Bleasdale (coach: Julien Raffalli) has set a new UK senior national pole vault record and global best by a teenager of 4.70m at the Bauhaus Junioren Gala in Mannheim, Germany today (Saturday 2 July).

Finalising her preparations ahead  of the forthcoming European Under-23 Championships (14-17 July), Bleasdale, who cleared a career best - at the time - of 4.53m to win the England Athletics age group title a week ago, exceeded Kate Dennison’s previous best of 4.60m and is now ranked second-equal in the world this year at senior level.

“I had such a good day,” said Bleasdale who finished second on count back behind Germany’s Martina Strutz. “The weather conditions were perfect, it was a great atmosphere, I was feeling really great and running well and the technique I’ve been working on in training has finally been transferred into competition.

“I was so happy when I cleared 4.60m and I knew heights like 4.70m were within me, but I didn’t think I could actually jump that high. I’m just so happy I can’t even put it into words; I don’t think it’s even really hit me yet. I’ve been training so hard and it’s great to know it’s paying off!”

There were also a number of impressive performances from the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland junior team on day one of the competition.

Bleasdale’s training partner Katie Byres (coach: Julien Raffalli) was in equally brilliant form to her senior counterpart with victory and a new lifetime best of 4.20m in the women’s under-20 pole vault, one of six gold medals won throughout the day by the juniors.

Myra Perkins (coach: Alan Bertram) took victory in the women’s hammer with a best effort of 60.10m while Kirsten McAslan (coach: Trevor Painter) won gold in the 400m in 54.48 ahead of Amelia Clifford (coach: Michael Coker) in third (54.74) and Lucy James (coach: Nick Dakin) in ninth (55.74).

Making it a quartet of female gold medallists, World Junior Champion Jodie Williams (coach: Mike McFarlane) won her second successive Mannheim title in the 100m with 11.48 (+0.3m/s), backed up by Marilyn Nwawulor (coach: Harry King) in second (11.70) and Annie Tagoe (coach: Connie Henry) in sixth (11.91), the latter two going marginally quicker in their heats with times of 11.65 (+0.3m/s) and 11.80 (+0.2m/s) respectively.

Mica Moore (coach: Lawrence Moore) finished fifth in the 100m B final with 11.98 (+1.6m/s) while in the women’s javelin, Izzy Jeffs (coach: Simon de Wilton) finished fourth with a best effort of 48.47m.

Andy Pozzi (coach: Malcolm Arnold) continued his consistent run of form with a season’s best equalling performance of 13.44 (+0.6m/s) - matching his time in the heats - to win gold in the under-20 men’s 110mH and take one of two Mannheim titles for the Aviva GB & NI junior men, while World Junior bronze medallist Jack Meredith (coach: Donald Moss) finished third in 13.48, his quickest this season.

The men’s 4 x 100m relay team of Dannish Walker-Khan (coach: Linford Christie), Sam Watts (coach: Gladys Bird), Adam Gemili (coach: John Blackie) and David Bolarinwa (coach: John Powell) also raced to gold in 40.02, although there was disappointment for the women’s quartet who dropped the baton mid-race, in what was a seemingly innocuous situation, with only metres to go.

Gemili also impressed in the individual 100m when finishing second in the A final in 10.41 (+0.5m/s) while Tom Knight (coach: Neil Wheeler) won the C final in 11.00 (+0.1m/s);  Judah Simpson (coach: Keith Bullock), who clocked a PB of 10.70 (+0.3m/s) to finish second in his first round heat, didn’t run the final.

Finally, Lawrence Clarke (coach: Malcolm Arnold), like Bleasdale competing as an individual in the under-23 events, finished second in the men’s 110mH in a new lifetime best of 13.51 behind Germany’s Gregor Traber (13.56) in only his second outing of the summer.

Full results from Mannheim are through the following link.