Olympic pole vault bronze medallist and British record-holder Holly Bradshaw will be up against world-class competition as she gets her 2022 season underway at the Müller Birmingham Diamond League at the Alexander Stadium on Saturday, May 21.
Olympic champion, Katie Nageotte (USA) will be joined by compatriot and World Indoor champion, Sandi Morris, and the Olympic champion from Rio, Katerina Stefanidi (GRE) meaning four of the current top five world-ranked female pole-vaulters will battle it out for the first Diamond League points of the season in Birmingham.
On lining up in Birmingham against Bradshaw, Tokyo Gold medallist Nageotte said, “I’m so excited to be headed for Birmingham in May. The pole vault community is very tight-knit and sharing the Olympic podium in Tokyo with Holly was an incredible moment. At the end of the day, it’s about us against the bar and the Müller Birmingham Diamond League will be a great competition.
Can't wait to get back competing this Sunday in the Muller Birmingham GP! 🤸— Holly Bradshaw (@HollyBradshawPV) August 15, 2019
I'm most excited for the British crowd! You can hear from this video how insane they were 🙏🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/JbaDq2nwp3
“I am looking forward to coming to the UK, I know the crowds there love the event and Holly is such an awesome competitor I’m sure there’ll be a great atmosphere and I’m looking forward to checking out the Alexander Stadium.”
After a bout with glandular fever during the winter, Bradshaw missed the indoor season but is now looking to build on last year’s outstanding season. In 2021 the Blackburn athlete set a British record of 4.90m to become British champion, took the podium at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after the sixth, fifth, and fourth-place finishes at previous global championships and completed a stellar season by finishing fourth in the Diamond League final.
She is even more excited for the season ahead beginning in Birmingham with the likes of Nageotte, Morris and Stefanidi confirmed for Birmingham:
“I’m so happy to be opening my season at my home Diamond League but having these girls join me at Birmingham makes it even better. With the World Championships taking place in mid-July the early fixtures will be super-competitive and I can’t wait to get going!”
Sandi Morris is in good form having retained her World Indoor championship crown last month in Belgrade and will be keen to put 2021 behind her after being forced to withdraw during the competition in Tokyo with a hip injury.
Following her gold medal in Tokyo, Nageotte remains ranked the world number two with her impressive personal best of 4.95m from Eugene last summer and was a close second to Morris in Belgrade.
Meanwhile, Stefanidi will want to recapture her form of previous visits to the Alexander Stadium where she won in 2019 and 2017 clearing 4.75m on both occasions. The Greek vaulter also took gold at the World Championships in London in 2017 in her lifetime best jump of 4.91m so clearly enjoys competing in the UK.