Holly Bleasdale soars above Jennifer Suhr to head world rankings


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The Independent Online

Olympic pole vault finalist Holly Bleasdale soared to the top of the world rankings as she sealed her place on the British team for the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg. Bleasdale, who finished sixth at London 2012, maintained her unbeaten start to the year with a third-time clearance at 4.77m, moving above the Olympic champion, Jennifer Suhr (4.76m), in the 2013 standings.

The 21-year-old then failed with three attempts at a British record of 4.90m, a height only the world record-holder, Yelena Isinbayeva, has cleared indoors, but was in confident mood after seeing winter changes to her technique pay off.

"When I jumped 4.77 I knew there was a lot more, even though I am still not quite clicking everything together like in training," she said. "Once I do that I will easily be clearing bars like that."

There were also impressive performances in the men's and women's 60m, with James Dasaolu and Asha Philip setting personal bests on their way to victory at the European Indoor trials and UK Championships at the English Institute for Sport. Dasaolu, 25, took advantage of the absence of Dwain Chambers through injury to win in 6.58sec, with Philip's time of 7.15sec moving her to equal fifth in the world this year. "This was all about securing my place on the team and I'm happy to get a PB [personal best] as well doing it," Dasaolu said.

Philip, 22, whose time was a stadium record, said: "I'm so happy that I've managed to time my championships perfectly. I sometimes peak in the semis and this time I said I was going to relax, then go hard in the final, and that's what I did."

Andy Pozzi, whose Olympics were ruined by injury, suffered a hamstring problem after winning his heat of the 60m hurdles, with Gianni Frankis taking the title, albeit just outside the qualifying time for Gothenburg. The 24-year-old has time to achieve the mark, with the team named on 19 February.