This is the third piece by Stuart Weir on Day 2, and it is a homage to the wonderful pole vaulting by Team GB’s new star, Molly Caudery, who has dealt with some tough injuries and setbacks, yet her competition in Glasgow gave Team GB its second gold medal on what Rob Walker of WA broadcasting called, “Sensational Saturday!”

Molly Caudery – world champion

The women’s pole vault always promised to be one of the highlights of the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow and it did notdisappoint.  What disappointed me was the BBC TV coverage.

Most of the greats of the sport were there:

Katie Moon – World and Olympic champion

Sandi Morris – 2018 and 2022 World Indoor Champion

Ekaterina Stefanidi – former World and Olympic champion

Eliza McCartney – Olympic medalist

Then there was the World leader, Molly Caudery, a British athlete who had a phenomenal year, coming fifth in Budapest last year and clearing 4.85 and 4.86 this season.

Molly Caudery, at the athletics world indoor championships, photo by Martin Bateman

Your correspondent, recovering from surgery, was watching on TV from home.  Shame that BBC did not seem to realize that the pole vault was happening. With BBC preferring to concentrate on track or even studio discussions between pundits to the live field action, I was left trying to follow the PV from the World Athletics feed.  Even that was delayed, with the outcome of a vault appearing on the website before the jump was shown!  The lowest of the low was when Molly Caudery made what proved to be her winning leap, and BBC was covering the 3000.  The TV commentator said, “You may have heard a loud roar.  We will tell you what it was later”.  It was 10 minutes before BBC deigned to show the PV magic moment.

Molly Caudery, preparing to vault, Glasgow 2024, photo by Martin Bateman

Back to the Pole vault competition, there was drama from the start.  Sadly, Alysha Newman had to withdraw without jumping.  Wilma Murto ended her competition at 4.55, struggling with injury. Margot Chevrier suffered what looked a bad injury as she seemed to fall onto the floor not the padding.

Stefanidi went out at 4.55, and Sandi Morris at 4.65.  Angelica Moser leaped to a PR of 4.75 but had to settle for fourth. Katie Moon reached 4.75 with three vaults but failed at 4.80. McCartney and Caudery reached 4.80, but neither could add to that height.  Caudery won on countback, with McCartney taking silver. I can write that Molly Caudery ONLY managed 4.80, which is an indication of where she has gotten to!

Molly Caudery with Eliza McCartney at the Athletics World Indoor Championships, photo by Martin Bateman

Molly Caudery said afterward: “I dreamed of this. I wasn’t sure if it would come true or not. It was such a tough competition; six girls over 4.80m were coming into it, so I knew it would be a fight. It was a really emotional competition. Actually, the one thing I want to say is that I hope a lot of the girls get better because there were some injuries and nasty falls. That affected me during the competition; I got really emotional. I just want to send my love to all of them first.

Molly Caudery and Katie Moon, at the athletics world indoor championships, photo by Martin Bateman

“I’m not used to having a target on my back and having executed it the way I did. I am just proud of myself for that. As soon as I knew I had a medal that was what I came to do and that made me believe in myself. The last two jumps Eliza took, I was so on edge. We get on well, so I can’t help but to be a bit happy.

“Last year I managed to come fifth at Worlds and since then I’ve been so consistent in training, my confidence has built a lot my mentally, physically I’ve improved and I think a combination of everything has just snowballed to allow me to do what I did. I  honestly can’t believe the change from coming 5th at world iutdoors last year to winning world indoors is unbelievable to me and it’s not sunk in”.

When she spoke to the British athletics writers a few days before the event, she said that her goal at the start of the year was a medal at the 2028 Olympics, and reaching the 2024 Olympics was a bonus.  She added that she might have to revise that goal!  Yes, Molly, I think you will!

Molly Caudery, gold medalist, WIC Glasgow 2024, photo by Dan Vernon Photo for World Athletics