If you thought you have seen what was to be seen in athletics this year, hold on to your seats please! The credits haven’t gone down yet and there are still late turns left to the plot.

Holly Bleasdale, the British season find at the sharp end on the global stage, has worked wonders in the most unsuspected of settings and time to turn an intended gauge of her winter build-up into a world class performance with aplomb soaring over a startling new pole vault UK record of 4.71m.

Bleasdale wins the European U23 title in Ostrava last July

Clear as daylight, she had no sight at all of what was lying in store for her at the far end of the competition when she set off to an opening height of just 4.21m, operating on only a 12-stride run-up pattern, at the Perche (Pole Vault) Elite Tour de Orleans in France. Nor would a final third of the outdoor season that saw her struggle allow of such throughts.

But as she was pulling out all the stops and heights were flashing past she began to realise her own strength and eclipsing Kate Dennison‘s last standing British landmark through a  second-time clearance at 4.61m really fired her up.

For her next attempt was a straight rise over a total best and British milestone in the event, adding a cm to her outdoor mark in Manheim last summer, that is going to be the talking point and serve up a serious warning across the pole vault quarters around the globe, her subsequent crack at 4.81m making for a frightening outlook into the Olympic season.

A challenge facing herself and coach Julien Raffalli, after this stunner sinks in first, is how they need to tweak things in their regime so that they maintain the momentum and an upward performance graph all along the way to London. Astounding as her new record is over its timing, it also makes for a tricky situation coming so early that demands subtle dealing with.

But without a doubt, on the strength of this showing Bleasdale could emerge as a serious gold medal contender and enlarge Britain’s scope for silverware in the Olympics.

There was more good news for Raffalli’s group further behind as 18-year-old Katie Byres cleared a UK Indoor U20 record of 4.16m at the second time for fifth and 20-year-old Andrew Sutcliffe, the global U20 bronze medallist in Moncton 2010, got his indoor season off to 5.21m at his third effort in the B men’s competition.

Results

http://bases.athle.com/asp.net/liste.aspx?frmbase=resultats&frmmode=1&frmespace=0&frmcompetition=100144

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