HOLLY Bradshaw admitted she was 'shocked' after winning an 11th national title on a shorter 12 step approach at the Spar British Indoor Championships in Birmingham.

The Chorley star, wearing her Blackburn Harriers vest, cleared 4.80m to climb to second place in the European rankings and third in the world in her first competition of 2019.

“I feel pretty shocked,” said the 27-year-old. "I jumped off a slightly shorter approach, 12 steps instead of 16, because my biggest aim this year is Doha which feels so far away so the indoor season was about having fun and that is why I opened up so late at the British Champs.

"To jump 4.80, I don't really know what to say. It's not really computing. It's such a big height from the run-up that I went off. It just shows that all the hard work that I have been doing it paying off.

"I even said to my coach after I cleared 4.80 'let's go to 16 steps now I want to jump off bigger poles and more steeper!'

"But I just had to stay relaxed and calm and realise that Doha is the biggest aim."

Bradshaw showed she is line to challenge for a European indoor pole vault medal in Glasgow next month - although it did not quite all go to plan in Birmingham as she failed her first chance at her opening height of 4.40m, but went clear at the second attempt which gave her the lead.

Bradshaw cleared 4.56m easily at her first attempt to nab the European indoor qualifying mark then also went clear at 4.66m and 4.72m with her first attempt. She then had two close attempts at 4.80m but went over at her last attempt.

It was her second best ever indoor jump plus equal third best indoors or out and represented a sensational season’s debut and she chose not to go higher.

Only Anzhelika Sidorova, who cleared 4.91m in Madrid the previous night, has jumped higher in 2019.

She won the title when Jade Ive, who cleared a near PB 4.40m at the last attempt, failed at 4.50m.

Bradshaw admitted she wasn't even going to compete in the indoor pole vaulting season and instead concentrate on the 60m sprints to improve her speed.

"Our big focus for the last six months has been to get fast," she said. "I even planned to do a 60m indoor season indoor instead of pole vault because instead of jumping twice a week I am doing two speed sessions twice a week and only pole vaulting once a week.

So the extra speed I have now is making me jump so much higher so it just seems to be the right thing to have done.

She added: "I wasn't even planning on doing an indoor season. For me having the British Champs, the Birmingham Grand Prix and the Europeans in Glasgow. I thought I can't pass that opportunity.

"And although I have been concentrating on speed and not vaulting everything has just come together and I am in such a good place and I am so excited to go to Glasgow now with such a good chance, I wasn't sure I would be able to.

"I kind of shocked myself."

Any doubts that Laura Muir will have difficulty in defending her 3000m and 1500m titles were dispelled in the last 400m of the longer event.

World leader Melissa Courtney ran a 59.0 last 400m but was powerless to prevent Muir turning in an astonishing 56.9 last two laps to win in 8:48.03 to Courtney’s 8:50.61.

Amy Eloise-Neale was third in a PB and Euro qualifier 8:59.86.

Muir’s fellow Scot Beth Potter had done much of the leading, taking the field through 1000m in 3:00.19 and 2000m in 6:02.54, with Muir kicking exactly 400m out and recording a 2:45 final kilometre.

She said: “This will be the first time that I’ll be heading in as a defending champion at a European Championships and to wear the orange bib for two events is really exciting for me and I’m excited for the championships after that performance.

“I feel so comfortable indoors in Glasgow, I know the surroundings and I’m in great form. The timetable isn’t perfect but it works for me. I think the double double sounds pretty nice to me. If it was anywhere other than Glasgow, I might not have done it but it’s my hometown.

“To be able to go to the Europeans and not have the distraction of studying it gives me so much more flexibility and getting away for warm weather training twice has been huge for me.”

Naomi Ogbeta predictably won the triple jump but had to come from behind in round four.

Ogbeta won with her fourth round 14.05m, which gave her both a European indoor qualifier, a PB and a British under-23 indoor record.

Laura Samuel gave her a fight with a 13.51m season’s best in round three which she improved to 13.61m in the fifth round.

“I’m really happy and excited,” said Ogbeta. “I was hoping to be able to jump close to 14.00m indoors but to do that is a huge PB and I’m really excited by that.

“Having got the qualifying mark for outdoors, I’m chuffed to have been able to do it outright indoors. I think Laura really pushed me today and it gave me that motivation to jump further.”

Alexandra Russell set a PB 13.27m to take the bronze.

Defending European indoor champion and this week’s Athletics Weekly cover star Asha Philip predictably won her 60m final but it was much closer than was anticipated after a technical problem caused a delay.

Rachel Miller was clearly ahead for much of the race but Philip finished strongly to win her sixth title in 7.19 with Miller again excelling to equal her PB with 7.20 as both sealed Glasgow selection. Kristal Awuah was third in 7.35.

In the semi-final Philip won easily in 7.22 from Awuah’s 7.32 with Miller winning her semi equally easily in 7.29.

Philip won her heat at a dawdle in 7.43 with Miller fastest of the round in 7.37.

She said: “I’m really happy because I had to work for that. None of my races are ever easy but I really had to dig in for that.

“It was a fight to the line and I’m really happy I came away with the gold. It’s a 10th indoor and outdoor title and it means so much to me. It was freezing downstairs when you’re waiting but when you come out to race the atmosphere was electric and it made it such a special race for me.”

Cindy Ofili showed she is gradually returning from her Achilles injury with a clear win in 8.16.

A metre back Katarina Johnson-Thompson was a clear second in an encouraging season’s best 8.27. Gabriella Ade-Onajobi set a PB 8.31 to take the bronze.

Ofili was fastest in the heats with 8.27 with Johnson-Thompson setting a then 2019 best of 8.38.

She said after the final: “It’s been a while because of my injury. My Achilles is getting back to normal. I felt really good and I am really happy to be British champion. The plan was always the Europeans so I am feeling really good but I need to get 8:10 so I will have to wait and see on what is next.”

Zoey Clark won her 400m semi-final impressively in an UK-leading 52.62 with Laviai Nielsen second in 52.79.

It’s lining up to be a cracking final on Sunday as Eilidh Doyle won the other semi-final in 52.76, having won her 400m heat in the previous UK-leading mark of 52.75.

18-year-old Amber Anning was second in a PB 53.32 to strengthen her hold on second spot in the all-time UK indoor under-20 rankings and is the fastest since former outdoor world record-holder Marilyn Neufville ran 53.01 to win Euro indoor gold in 1970.

The fastest runner in the 800m heats was 18-year-old Isabelle Boffey.

She unleashed an impressive sub-30 last 200m to win in 2:04.14 to take over a second off her PB.

Other heats winners were Lynsey Sharp (2:05.99), Ellie Baker (PB 2:04.46) and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (2:07.85).

England Commonwealth Games representatives Katie Snowden (4:22.13) and Sarah McDonald (4:22.18) dominated the first heat of the 1500m while the second heat was won by European under-20 champion Jemma Reekie in 4:30.28 from former world 1500m medallist Hannah England’s 4:30.68.