Holly Bleasdale Pre-Olympic Articles

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Holly Bleasdale Pre-Olympic Articles

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:14 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/olympi ... prise.html

Bleasdale: I knew nothing about pole vault four years ago... now I want gold
By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 06:51 EST, 24 July 2012 | UPDATED: 07:08 EST, 24 July 2012


Pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale admits it is 'weird' to be preparing for the Olympics having known little of her chosen event four years ago.

The 20-year-old had never even tried pole vaulting at the time of the Beijing Games but will enter London 2012 as a serious contender.

Since trying out the event for the first time at the age of 17, the former gymnast and runner has enjoyed such a meteoric rise that the great Yelena Isinbayeva is in her sights.

Bleasdale cleared 4.87 metres in January - the third highest of all time indoors - and set a new British outdoor record of 4.71m to qualify for the Games earlier last month.

Bleasdale said: 'When it was Beijing I didn't really know anything about pole vaulting.

'I was doing hurdles at the time, still involved in athletics and playing a bit of football.

'I didn't really watch much athletics but remember seeing some of the key moments.

'It is kind of crazy now that I am at the Olympics. Hopefully I will do myself justice and compete really well.'

Double Olympic champion Isinbayeva, who boasts a world record of 5.06m, is the clear favourite but Bleasdale's stats compare favourably to those of the 30-year-old Russian at her age.

Bleasdale largely views London as a chance to gain valuable experience but she could have the potential to become a world star in her own right in future.

'I have had a rapid rise and established myself,' said Bleasdale, who comes from Euxton, near Chorley. 'It's come out of nowhere.

'I have trained so hard and it's got me places. I am really privileged to be here and representing GB at a home Olympics.

'I have shocked myself how high I have jumped. When I jumped 4.87 it was a big shock to me.

'It seems to be going the right way so hopefully in the next couple of years I will be jumping more consistently and higher.

'Because I am still quite young I want to enjoy it. I just want to go to the village, soak it all up and learn from it, good and bad.'

While the ultimate challenge will be to dethrone Isinbayeva, the Russian remains a huge role model for Bleasdale even if she is a relatively new sporting hero.

She said: 'When I was a youngster I always looked up to David Beckham.

'I always thought he had an excellence about him and always came across really well. That is what I aspired to be like.

'Since I have been doing pole vault Yelena Isinbayeva has been the main person I have looked up to.

'In the first two years me and my coach used to analyse her technique.'

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rainbowgirl28
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Re: Holly Bleasdale Pre-Olympic Articles

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:20 pm

http://www.standard.co.uk/olympics/athl ... 56226.html


Holly Bleasdale: I’m hopeful that within five years I’ll set a record that was never thought possible
OIympic novice is full of confidence thanks to her incredible rise

Head for heights: Holly Bleasdale makes it look simple

18 July 2012

Olympic hopefuls are often questioned on their whereabouts at the time of the last Games. In the case of Holly Bleasdale, she had not even been introduced to the sport of pole vault, in which she is a medal contender, when Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva soared to a successful defence of her title.

The then 16-year-old, though, was sporty and put her hand to anything. She had dabbled with the hurdles and football when her mum, Debbie, suggested trying pole vault.

Setting out with a baby pole, she was hooked from the onset helped by the fact that previously “I’d never been really good at something” and suddenly she was.

It seems remarkable that four years on, she boasts the third-highest jump in the world this year of 4.87metres, achieved indoors in January.

Bleasdale has been 16 centimetres short of that target outdoors to date but insists she is finding form at just the right time.

And in the process, the down to earth but immensely ambitious Bleasdale has already dared to dream of dominating the sport like her idol and golden rival Isinbayeva.

“I think I’ll still do this for another 10 years and I’m nowhere near my peak yet,” says the 20-year-old.

“That’s usually between 27 and 30. In the next five years I hope I can put the world record somewhere where people think women could never do that. I think I’m capable of that.”

As for her more immediate ambitions in the next few weeks, there is the matter of going head to head against Isinbayeva, the world record holder, in Monaco on Friday as well as at the Olympics. “Confidence is sky high, I feel really confident the whole time, I’ve never felt this good and I want to win a medal,” says Bleasdale, who believes she will have to jump higher than ever to do just that. “I think 4.90m will win a medal.”

Clearing heights well over that of a double decker bus holds no fear for Bleasdale, who tries not to think about the feats she achieves.

“It doesn’t feel high when you’re up there,” she adds. “I might as well be a metre off the floor. I just love it and I’m so glad I got into it.”

Her mum was the driving force then and continues to be so. She is an Olympic volunteer at the Games but is confident she will have the time off to see her daughter compete.

When Holly broke her take-off foot in 2009, her mum gave her a necklace with the inscription “believe in yourself and magic will happen”, an item of jewellery she still wears.

Debbie gets unbelievably nervous watching her daughter, although Bleasdale adds: “I like to think she enjoys it too, I hope she does.”

The other key figure in her progress is her coach Julien Raffalli, whom she describes as the “great motivator”.

She adds: “It’s great as he believes in me completely but he’s always trying to improve, even the small things. When I cleared 4.87m, I thought it was perfect and it probably was for me at the time but he picked up little things and it’s all about working on those to get that little bit better.”

Going to the Games, Isinbayeva is the big rival although not the only one. The idea of competing against your idol can deter some athletes but not it would seem Bleasdale. “I’ve seen her as a role model in the pole vault,” she says.

“She’s very different to me in that she keeps herself to herself but my approach is to chill out and chat away to other people if they want. That just works for me.”

Bleasdale is regularly all smiles during a competition whatever the level although she left in tears from the World Championships in Daegu last year when her technique evaded her and she failed to make the final. Looking back, she sees that failing as a blessing. “I’m really thankful for Daegu as it made me stronger and better as an athlete,” she adds.

The Olympics should prove a difficult prospect although she points out: “The pole vault is such a technical sport that it can fall apart even if you’re at the top of your game.”

That’s where Bleasdale currently stands, or at least very near to the top. Now she has the target of 4.90m set in her sights.

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rainbowgirl28
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Re: Holly Bleasdale Pre-Olympic Articles

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:22 pm

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchesterevening ... ng-for-joy


High flyer Holly Bleasdale jumping for joy
June 27, 2012

Holly Bleasdale broke the British pole vault record at the Aviva Olympic Trials and then declared: “I feel I can go so much higher.”

Bleasdale, one vault away from early disaster, recovered superbly to sail over 4.71 metres to confirm her place in Britain’s track and field squad for London.

“It’s the first time I have been able to put my new technique in place,” said the Sportcity-trained athlete after dominating the event at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

“So, I will be so much more confident going into the next competition.”

Bleasdale, who also holds the indoor record with 4.87 metres, is now one of the main contenders for gold in London.

“It’s amazing to think I am going to the Olympics,” said the 19-year-old Lancastrian, who competes second claim for Trafford AC.

“When London was announced as host city, I wasn’t even in the sport and didn’t know anything about pole vault.”

Bleasdale relegated former British record holder, Kate Dennison, into second place after the Sale Harrier led early on with a clearance of 4.26m.

Sale team-mate, Katie Byres also cleared 4.26m but finished fifth on count back.

Sale’s strength in depth at the event, thanks to their Regional Arena training base, was illustrated as Abigail Haywood achieved a personal best of 3.91 metres.

User avatar
rainbowgirl28
I'm in Charge
Posts: 30435
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 1:59 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, I coach and officiate as life allows
Lifetime Best: 11'6"
Gender: Female
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Casey Carrigan
Location: A Temperate Island
Contact:

Re: Holly Bleasdale Pre-Olympic Articles

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:07 am

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/defeated-p ... --oly.html

Defeated pole vaulter Bleasdale wins in love

AFP – 4 hours ago

Britain's Holly Bleasdale reacts after failing an attempt in the pole vault final at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 6. The pole vaulter was, however, …
British pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale flopped at the Olympics, but was a winner in love on Tuesday when she revealed her boyfriend had proposed to her.
The 20-year-old Bleasdale, who finished sixth in the final, tweeted that boyfriend Paul Bradshaw had asker her to marry him.
"6th in the Olympics and @bradshaaaw proposes to me :) epic day!!!"," she wrote on Twitter.
Bradshaw had posted: "I have just proposed to @HollyBleasdale and she said yes!!!!! Best day ever!"


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