Bleasdale eyes pole vault gold
Holly Bleasdale will look to get Great Britain's medal charge under way at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg on Saturday to help erase the memory of Dwain Chambers' angry and ignominious exit from the competition.
Bleasdale is favourite for gold in the pole vault after overcoming a shaky start to qualify comfortably for the final at the Scandinavium Arena on Friday night.
High jumper Robbie Grabarz and Shara Proctor in the long jump will also have podium places on their minds and, with all three finals starting within 15 minutes of each other, it could prove a successful evening for the British team as they look to surpass the nine medals they won at the event in Paris two years ago.
With Britain not in contention for any of the medals on offer on day one, it was the controversial figure of Chambers who dominated the headlines, reacting furiously after crashing out in the heats of the 60 metres.
The red mist descended as the clearly unfit sprinter could only finish fifth, his time of 6.78 seconds not even good enough for one of the four fastest-loser spots.
The 34-year-old, who has been troubled by a back problem, discarded his shirt and shoes as he stormed off the track. It is the first time since 2007 that he has failed to win an indoor medal at either world or European level.
Bleasdale had to see the doctor after spraying herself in the eyes with perfume earlier in the day, but had clearly recovered by the time she took to the runway, a clearance of 4.56m booking her final place.
Olympic bronze medallist Grabarz thought he had gone out after only managing a clearance of 2.23m, well down on his best this year of 2.31m, but just edged through.
Proctor reached the long jump final with her first attempt of 6.61m.
In Chambers' absence, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Dasaolu will represent Britain in the 60m semi-finals and, hopefully, contend for a medal in tonight's final, while 19-year-old Laura Muir goes in the final of the 1500m.