Euxton’s Holly Bradshaw rounded off her best year in pole vaulting by producing Britain’s highest World Championships finish in the event.
The 27-year-old finished fourth in Sunday’s final in the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar as she cleared 4.80m – a centimetre short of her personal outdoor best.
But her self-belief almost paid off after failing twice at 4.85m, as she passed to try 4.90m to go all out for a medal.
The event was won by neutral athlete Anzhelika Sidorova, but no Brit has ever finished as high at a World Championships in pole vault.
After finishing fifth at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and fourth at the Commonwealth Games last year, the 2018 European bronze medalist said: “I honestly couldn’t have given any more, I’m only 1cm away from the British record, and season’s best.
“To come here and jump 4.80m and perform at my best, I can’t ask for much more than that. I was gutted that I couldn’t get 4.85m, but I do feel it’s within me. So I’m really happy-slash-torn I finished fourth, but I really can’t complain. I am happy!”
And she is already looking ahead to an Olympic year: “If I could hook up the best jump I’ve ever done in my life, it’s definitely worth a 4.90m, so I thought ‘Why not? Let’s stick it up there and give a bash!’
“It was actually the best jump of my competition, I got on the biggest pole I’ve done all season, conditions were great, and it just shows where I am as an athlete in terms of my career, it’s really exciting moving forward now. I’m going to go back to a longer approach, longer poles, and hopefully 4.90m-plus is there. With the confidence I’ve built this year, it stands me in good stead.”
“Qualification was awesome, as the competition went on, the crowds got better.
“It was a little disappointing at the start, because you thrive on that, that’s why I love competing in Britain so much.
“It’s not the best crowd I’ve ever competed in front of, you expect it to be better for a World Champs, but all the girls got behind each other so it was great in the end.”