Birmingham: European Medallists Stefanidi and Bradshaw Headline World-Class Pole Vault Field
Olympic, World and now two-time European champion Katerina Stefanidi and bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw will renew their rivalry at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham next weekend (Saturday 18 August), just nine days after both made history at the European Championships in Berlin.
Last night, Stefanidi became the first pole vaulter to win back-to-back European titles after clearing a Championship record height of 4.85m to beat her compatriot Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou to European gold.
The Greek pair were joined on the podium by Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Holly Bradshaw, who claimed her first outdoor medal at a major championship after clearing 4.75m to secure bronze.
The 26-year-old’s bronze medal saw her become the first British female ever to win an outdoor pole vault medal at a European Championships, and, now with a homecoming meet in the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham on the horizon, the British record holder can’t wait to return to the UK to compete:
“I’ve been so close to a medal on so many occasions so to finally win my first outdoor medal is amazing – now the medal has begun to sink in I can’t wait to get back home and compete in Birmingham next weekend to take the crowd, experience and competition in.”
“With the British team doing so well and the other medallists such as Dina and Zharnel confirmed to be in Birmingham too I know the atmosphere will be incredible. On a personal note I know that being able to return to a stadium I know so well and be introduced as a European bronze medallist in front of a home crowd will be really special and is something I can’t wait for before competing.”
On what is sure to be one of the best pole vault competitions this year based on the field set to be present in Birmingham, Bradshaw added:
“Birmingham knows it track and field and competing in front of the back straight stand is always a great feeling as you can really feel the crowd’s energy and enthusiasm.
“This pole vault field is absolutely phenomenal with the talent in there, so I’m really urging the fans of athletics in the UK to not only come out and cheer me on to high bars, but also to enjoy the rare opportunity of seeing the best in the world in one competition too.”
For global pole vault force Stefanidi, the Greek is now itching to return to competition after her superb medal winning performance in Berlin, with Birmingham seemingly the perfect place to continue:
“There is nowhere like the UK when it comes to atmosphere – London last year is something I will never forget. The crowds are always amazing and will no doubt be even louder next weekend in Birmingham after Holly’s bronze medal, so I’m excited to be a part of that party atmosphere.”
On her personal ambitions at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham, the multi-gold medallist added:
“I can enjoy the victory and gold medal from the European Championships and go for some high bars – being against the best girls in the world will push everyone on so hopefully the crowd will be treating to something really special.”
Among those joining the two recently crowned European medallists in Birmingham will be current Diamond League leader and world indoor champion Sandi Morris (USA), Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney (NZA) and 2015 world champion Yarisley Silva (CUB).