Holly is primed for Rio

Holly Bradshaw
Holly Bradshaw
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Euxton pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw will be aiming to rubber stamp her spot at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 24-year-old athlete will be competing this weekend at the British Championships in Birmingham.

Having already achieved the Olympic qualifying mark of 4.50m, Bradshaw will guarantee her spot on the plane to Brazil by finishing inside the top two.

However, as the all-time British record holder – both indoor and outdoor – there is every likelihood that Bradshaw will be heading Rio regardless of what happens in Birmingham.

As the only UK women’s pole vaulter to achieve the qualifying standard for Rio, the former Parklands High School pupil is an overwhelming favourite to defend her British crown.

She has a personal best leap of 4.71m outdoors and is third on the world’s all-time list indoors with a vault of 4.87m.

At last season’s World Championships in Beijing, Bradshaw jumped just a centimetre below her PB to finish seventh.

That proved to be an excellent result for the 2013 European champion after seeing her progress the previous two years blighted by injury.

“I am feeling in great shape,” said Bradshaw. “Maybe the best of my life.

“I’ve been eating super clean and training well so things seem to be going well.

“I have had a few PBs in the gym recently and I’m feeling strong in my running and jump training sessions.

“I just need to dial in my vaulting a touch more and I will be ready.”

Although her immediate focus is on this weekend’s event, Bradshaw admits her attention is starting to turn towards the Olympics.

“I like thinking about Rio and what’s waiting for me,” she said. “It’s a very exciting year and I thrive on that.

“The Olympics is a massive deal but it is what you make of it. I like to think of it as an exciting opportunity to compete for my country and show myself what I can do on a worldwide stage.”