Although the first national lockdown restricted much of Holly Bradshaw's training schedule, the pole vaulter from Preston turned her attention elsewhere.
With the Tokyo Olympic Games in her sights, the 29-year-old focused on getting stronger, a tactic that has paid dividends a few months on.
“The first lockdown for me was the toughest as I couldn’t do ninety per cent of my training – I can’t do gymnastics in my house, I can’t pole vault in my house…it was frustrating to just be doing something I felt wasn’t related to pole vault,” commented Bradshaw.
“I just realigned my goals to get as strong as I can, those three months in the garage almost spiralled out of control and I’m now in the best shape ever.”
Bradshaw, who is studying for an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Loughborough, has Olympic experience under her belt after competing in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
After a strong jump of 4.70m in the final, she finished fifth in the competition, but will be hoping to go one step further in Japan:
“I believe that there are five/six girls that can realistically win a medal and I’m one of them.
“My only goal going into the Olympics is to produce a medal-winning performance, so, somewhere between 4.80m and 5.00m, and if that’s good enough for a medal – great.
“I’ve been telling everyone that I’m not going in saying “I want a medal, I want a medal”, because if I produce a performance of a lifetime and finish fourth, I will be absolutely happy with that as I’ve done all I can.”
Bradshaw also featured in the University’s Train at Home campaign last year, sharing in detail how she adapted her training regime during the coronavirus outbreak.
Loughborough’s dedicated 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games website features all the latest news, videos, and medal tables from Japan.
Notes for editors
Press release reference number: 21/147
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