Britain’s new sensation Holly Bleasdale has narrowly missed out on handing a historic first ever defeat to pole vault legend Yelena Isinbayeva in a nailbiting battle that unfolded in the Luczniczka arena for the Pedros Cup in Bydgoszcz, Poland, yesterday.

The world record holder ground out a crucial edge in a second-time clearance over 4.68m, her opening height, to win on countback as the Briton managed to steer clear of the bar in her final attempt, having also taken in a ‘warm-up’ first time 4.52m en route.

After watching Anna Rogowska (POL) and Yarisley Silva (CUB) fail to progress at 4.74m, both opted to take matters up to 4.80m and settle their score there but neither could get the better of the bar, with the Russian looking the more convincing.

Bleasdale, however, did hand Isinbayeva a first serious test and warning of her intentions, letting her know that she will be breathing down her neck, to bolster up her new-earned place in the very elite of the event, taking plenty of heart from her showing and grit.

And an impressive array of scalps such as Rogowska, the world champion in Berlin, Silva, former world record holder Sveltana Feofanova and Monica Pyrek (POL) will only help take her confidence sky high. After all, she is still operating off a 16-stride pattern as well as applying a few late tweaks to her gear so she knows there is a lot more in the tank.

Rogowska, for her part, snatched third on the end of a bumpy flight from Silva at 4.60m on countback, a SB for both, where Feofanova finally had to make do with only fifth at 4.52m.

On the men’s end, Steve Lewis suffered a similar fate to Bleasdale in that he also slotted into second place on a first-time 5.60m, tied with Czech Jan Kuducka, but Pole Lucasz Michalski worked himself plenty of space at the top over an equal indoor best of 5.72m at the death in this instance.

The Briton also attempted that height himself but could not find a way over meaning that he is still looking for the qualifying standard of Istanbul, equating to the Olympic A for London as well.

Daegu silver medallist Lazaro Borges (CUB) surprisingly stayed well down at 5.40m for a fine scalp, however, along with that of young German Karsten Dilla, fourth at also 5.60, and former world champion Giuseppe Gibilisco (ITA).

In the men’s shot, Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski (POL) held on to a valuable early win at a SB of 21.05m against a late rally from Christian Cantwell (USA) who hurled a last-ditch 20.96m.

Portoguese Marco Fortes set a new indoor national record of 20.77m to get third ahead of a rather below par on the day Reese Hoffa (USA), who could muster only a fifth-round 20.61m.