Holly’s grand plan

Holly Bleasdale
Holly Bleasdale
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HOLLY Bleasdale hopes her USA training will be the launchpad to a memorable summer.

The 21-year-old track and field athlete vaulted across the Atlantic to train in Arizona ahead of the under-23 championships in Finland next month before she takes on the Senior World Championships in Russia this August.

Despite having wonders such as the Grand Canyon at her doorstep on the two-month training camp, Bleasdale’s agenda was geared towards reaching peak form for competition, offering little time for recreation.

“You do your training, then you ease, recover then sleep and do it again. There are no distractions,” she said.

“There’s a lot of training. I did go to the Grand Canyon and stuff but the training and the preparation takes up a lot of the time.”

Aside from training, Bleasdale also highlighted the differences in America from her life at her base in Cardiff.

She continued: “I think USA is good but it’s not the same as the UK. I’m not sure what it is.

“Everything seems so different. There are not as many things to do close to where we are. You can’t walk or drive somewhere for five minutes because far away and spread out.”

Bleasdale lived in Wigan where her finance Paul had a flat and the Preston-born star trained in Manchester.

“I try and keep improving and think about ways I can do that,” she added.

“Most of the girls in my event are nine or 10 years older and I want to stay injury free and try and have the long careers they have had.”

Moscow’s World Championships are set to be the climax of Bleasdale’s summer but she first wants to defend they European under-23s title she won two years ago in what will be her last championships in the age group.

She also wants to put the memory of the London 2012 Olympics behind her – she was left disappointed despite earning a sixth-placed finish in the pole vault.

“The World Championships is the main one in August, it’s a really big competition for me and I want to go there and compete against the best,” she said.

“I wasn’t even in the event the last Olympics and and then I have been able to compete at a home Olympics.

“I roomed with her for that and she did so well and worked so hard to get back.”