Just two places stood between Holly Bradshaw and a podium spot at last summer’s Olympic Games, but there’s no denying her intent to make amends on home soil this weekend.
Bradshaw saw her dreams of a maiden Olympic medal slip in Rio just shy of a year ago but, having booked her spot in Sunday’s World Championships pole vault final in London with just one jump, the time could finally be nigh for her to get her hands on the silverware.
Friday’s opening day action in the capital saw the 25-year-old progress with a jump of 4.50m, the fourth highest in her group, with Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi leading the way overall by 10cm more.
But that’s no cause for concern for Bradshaw, and she’s prepared to empty the tank if that’s what it takes come the fight for the medals on Sunday.
“I’m really chuffed, I only had to do one jump to qualify so that was really good,” said Bradshaw, who navigated 4.81m at her last meet prior to competing in London.
“I felt really good, my jumping has really come together recently so I’m really excited for Sunday now. I felt so good coming in, I’m possibly in the best shape I’ve ever gone into a major championships.
“I’m jumping really well, I feel physically so fit and so strong and powerful. I felt amazing today, I wish I could have carried on jumping.
“It’s good that I only had to do one jump, I can save it now for the final.
“I’m feeling really confident, and like nothing can faze me. I’m so in control of my performance. There are some really good girls who have made the final, so it’s going to be a good battle but I’m definitely going to be up there fighting for one of those medals.
Five years have passed since Bradshaw made her debut in the London Stadium, then just a 21-year-old making her Olympic debut. But she insists it could well have been 2012 again, such was the noise that sounded during every second of the action.
“The crowd was insane. I didn’t think it could come close to London 2012, but it’s just the same,” she said. “They are so loud and really get behind you, it gave me goosebumps.
n You can help the next generation of young British athletes by getting involved in SportsAid Week this September with London 2012 hero Greg Rutherford MBE. Find out more about how you can support the week of fun and fundraising by visiting www.sportsaid.org.uk/sportsaidweek.