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7th March 2013

MMU pole-vaulter leaps to gold at Euro Champs

Defending champion pipped by Britain’s first Euro gold medallist

A Manchester Metropolitan University student won a gold medal after taking a gamble at the European Indoor Championships last week.

Holly Bleasdale, who studies at the University’s Cheshire campus, took gold in pole vault at the event in Gothenburg after being tied for first place with her Polish opponent Anna Rogowska.

The 21-year-old Sports Science student had the opportunity to share the medal with Rogowska after both failed to clear the height of 4.72 metres – or jump again. She chose the latter and became Britain’s first Euro gold medallist in the sport with a vault of 4.67 metres.

“I was in the moment and I felt really good and thought if I got my jump together I could clear the bar easily,” Bleasdale said. “I thought instead of sharing gold, why not get it for myself and I’m glad I did that.

“If most people had the option to do that, I would have thought they would do it.

“I feel so confident in my ability and I was really positive, so thought why not take the risk.”

Bleasdale’s previous career high was winning the world indoor bronze medal. Rogowska, with 10 years more experience in the sport, was the defending European championship.

Early in the competition Bleasdale sat in fourth and came dangerously close to missing out on a medal, only clearing the initial 4.67 metre jump after her third attempt.

She 2has also previously held the title of Under-23 European Champion, and in January 2012 set a personal best of 4.87 metres.

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