Holly Bleasdale believes the early bird will catch the worm at the European Indoor Championships as she bids for her first major senior international pole vault title.
Bleasdale made her major senior international debut at the European Indoor Championships in Paris back in 2011 and has gone on to chalk up three additional appearances.
The 21-year-old failed to make it out of qualifying on her bow in France while she didn’t record a height at the World Championships outdoors in Daegu later that year.
Bleasdale got 2012 off to a great start after winning bronze at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul however she struggled to sixth at the Olympic Games in London thereafter.
All the signs appear to point to another indoor medal at the Europeans in Gothenburg this week, with Bleasdale’s best jump of the year 4.77m placing her first on the continent.
And she believes the key to doing just that, and challenging for gold, will be making a fast and clean start in Sweden, with the women’s pole vault final scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
“The early stages will be important because if I can have a clean card and not have many failures leading up to 4.70m that will have me up in the medals,” said Bleasdale.
“That will be satisfying because medals weren’t part of my plan this year. I just wanted to enjoy it because I’ve changed coaches.
“But it’s gone so well that, now, I’d like to go to Gothenburg, get a medal and have a good battle with Anastasia Savchenko for gold. I think I’ve got a good shot at it.
“I’ve came back much stronger from what happened in Daegu and London. You’ve got to have these bad times to get stronger and so I’m glad I’m getting these out of the way when I’m young.
“I’ve got so much confidence. I’m in shape to jump 4.80m and 4.90m at the Europeans as long as I keep composed. If I don’t think of anyone else I’m in with a great chance.”
© Sportsbeat 2013