Tokyo 2020: Holly Bradshaw wins Team GB's first-ever medal in pole vault
Holly Bradshaw clears 4.85m to win Team GB bronze medal in women's pole vault final; 29-year-old from Preston wins first-ever Olympic medal in pole vault in British history; USA's Katie Nageotte wins gold, ROC's Anzhelika Sidorova takes silver
Last Updated: 06/08/21 4:35pm
Holly Bradshaw won the first Olympic pole vault medal in British history after securing bronze in the women's final at Tokyo 2020.
The 29-year-old from Preston cleared 4.85m on her first attempt to beat Greek defending champion Katerina Stefanidi and secure a spot on the podium.
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Katie Nageotte was the only athlete to clear 4.90m and claimed the gold medal for the United States, while the Russian Olympic Committee's Anzhelika Sidorova took silver.
Bradshaw has secured her first Olympic medal at the third attempt, after competing in London and Rio, respectively finishing sixth and fifth in the final.
It is Team GB's 51st medal of the Tokyo Games, which equals their medal haul at Beijing 2008, and also the first-ever Olympic medal in the pole vault competition in British history.
"This is what I've worked for through my whole career," Bradshaw said. "I've had so many ups and downs, it's something that I've wanted so bad and it's finally happened.
"It's not sunk in. I'm almost emotionless because I don't know what emotion it is I'm feeling, it's relief, pure enjoyment and excitement.
"I'm proud of myself for sticking with it. I knew I could get it one day, I just can't express how grateful I am to be involved in this sport and finally get an Olympic medal."
Bradshaw failed to match her British record of 4.90m but it was enough to become Britain's second track and field medallist of the Tokyo Games after 800m silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson.
With plenty of athletes missing out at early heights, it would have been easy for Bradshaw to be panicked on an occasion that meant so much.
"It's really tricky at competition," Bradshaw said. "The wind was very tiny but a constant headwind. Fifth place was 4.50m in an Olympic final so it was very hard.
"My experience kicked in, I kept my nerve. I had a bit of a wobble at 4.70m but cleared it and that was a massive relief."
Earlier on Thursday, Team GB picked another bronze medal when Liam Heath came third in the men's K1 200m canoe sprint final at Sea Forest Waterway.
But the best news for Britain in Tokyo came from the velodrome, where 23-year-old Matt Walls became the men's omnium Olympic champion.
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