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Britain's Top Pole Vaulters Chase European Glory

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Kate Dennison

14 June 2010

Britain’s top pole vaulters Kate Dennison and Steve Lewis are both aiming to break the British record and in turn secure their place in the Aviva GB & NI team at the European Championships when they compete at the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships on 25-27 June at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. 

Dennison, who enjoyed a tremendous year last year, has broken her own National record a total of nine times and is the current British record holder with a PB of 4.60m which she achieved at the Pedro’s Cup in Szczecin, Poland, in September 2009.

With a clearance of 4.50m in Poland on her season’s debut on Sunday, the former gymnast and reigning UK champion is looking ahead to the European Championships and is hoping that her fantastic current form will lead to victory in the Nationals and a podium finish in Barcelona.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to competing at the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships. I won here last year with a new National record of 4.57m so it would be amazing if I could so the same again this year.

“I’ve had a really great indoor season which culminated in winning the Aviva UK Indoor Championships which was absolutely fantastic. I had a great year last year, bettering my PB a total of nine times and finishing in sixth place at the World Championships in Berlin so I’m hoping I’ll be able to perform just as well, if not better, this year. The European Championships are my main focus at the moment and it would be a dream come true to medal there.

“Training has been going really well and I can’t wait to get out there and defend my National title. The crowd are always great at the Alexander Stadium so I always enjoy competing there – I can rely on them to give me that extra lift on the day!”

Dennison competed at the Rome leg of the Diamond League on 10th June, clearing 4.50m for a respectable seventh place finish.

Lewis, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in 2006, also enjoyed a great 2009, achieving a PB of 5.72m and finishing seventh at the World Championships in Berlin. After a successful start to the year and with a solid indoor season under his belt, the Stoke-on-Trent born athlete has his eyes set on the British pole vault record and a European medal.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to competing at the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships. I just missed out on the National title last year on count back so this year I’m hoping to go one better and win. My goal for this summer is to break the British Pole Vault record and make the podium in Barcelona.

“I’ve enjoyed a good indoor season, winning the Aviva UK Indoor Championships in Sheffield in February and placing sixth equal in the World Indoor Championships in Doha in March. Training since then has been going really well and I’m in some good athletics meets and am looking to put in some strong performances this summer.

It’s great competing at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium. I get a great buzz competing there as the crowd are really loud and energetic which is great! It’s always brilliant competing in front of a crowd who are really behind you, it gives you that all important boost when you’re out on the field.”

Tickets for the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, on 25th – 27th June are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk 

Ticket prices are as follows: tickets for Tier 2 are Adults £10, Concession £8. Tickets for Family Zone are Adult £10, Concession £1.