Holly Bradshaw eyes Euro gold to justify living ‘like a hermit’ in pandemic

Holly Bradshaw has revealed the “nightmare” logistical challenge of getting to Poland in shape to lead Britain’s medal charge at the European Indoor Athletics Championships.

Pole vault star Bradshaw is favourite for gold tomorrow but she has arrived in Torun having been unable to compete in five out of eight possible events due to cancellations and Covid restrictions.

“It's been a hugely frustrating indoor season, logistically an absolute nightmare,” she said.

“I've worked so hard and I’ve taken Covid tests left, right and centre. I’ve not left my house other than to train so I don't get Covid. I've lived like a hermit. I do my Aldi click-and-collect and I've not seen anyone but my husband and my coach.”

Most upsetting was being denied the opportunity to win the World Indoor Tour because Spain wouldn’t allow UK residents into the country, which she reckons cost her a £7,200 payday.

Her frustration finally boiled over when she returned to Britain from a competition last week and had to queue for three hours at passport control.

“There was 1000s of people all crammed into one area,” she said. “In the back of my mind, I was thinking, ‘I don't know whether anyone's got Covid in here’.

“We’ve seen the lengths which everyone's going through to curb this disease and for us all to be shoved into this tight space just seemed ridiculous.”

Jamie Webb is Britain’s other gold medal favourite at the three-day event where he attempts to end the nation’s 31-year wait for a successor to Tom McKean.

"I believe I can face up against anyone and give them a race," he said. "I have high expectations of myself."

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