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World Indoor Championships: Josh Kerr storms to 3,000m gold as Molly Caudery wins women’s pole vault

Josh Kerr ended Scotland’s 31-year wait for a world indoor title and did so on home turf as he stormed to 3,000m gold in Glasgow.

Kerr powered away on the final lap to win comfortably in 7:42.98, with defending champion Selemon Barega fading down the final straight as he was beaten to silver by American Yared Nuguse.

After disappointment for Laura Muir in the women’s 3,000m final earlier in the evening, Kerr’s victory sparked huge celebrations in the Emirates Arena.

“I think I burned more energy celebrating than I did in the race, which is a bit embarrassing,” Kerr, the world 1500m outdoors champion, said on BBC Sport. “This competition is so important.

Josh Kerr, of Great Britain, reacts after winning the gold medal in the men's 3,000 meters during the World Athletics Indoor Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Saturday, March 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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Kerr ended Scotland’s 31-year wait for a world indoor title

“I’ve come to championships before not ready to have a real go at it and I feel I’ve let the UK audience down a bit in the way I’ve performed in front of them. It was really important to come here fit and ready to go and really execute.

“I came in without a solid plan, just really fluid. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t acting emotionally. I kept a patient head and then I could really send it with 400 metres to go.”

Muir set a season’s best time of 8:29.76, but that was only good enough for fifth as American Elle St Pierre set a World Indoor Championships record of 8:20.87 to take the win ahead of Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay.

Caudery wins gold in the women’s pole vault

Molly Caudery delivered a second British gold of the night in the women’s pole vault, taking the win after New Zealand’s Eliza McCartney was unable to clear the bar at 4.90m.

Britain's Molly Caudery celebrates as she competes in the Women's Pole Vault final during the Indoor World Athletics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 2, 2024. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)
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Molly Caudery celebrated the biggest victory of her career

The competition had been delayed by a terrible fall for France’s Margot Chevrier, who suffered a suspected broken ankle.

“I dreamt (of winning) but I wasn’t sure if it could come true,” Caudery said. “It was such a tough competition with six girls coming in over 80, and it was really emotional. I hope a lot of the girls get better as there were some injuries and nasty falls.

“It affected me during the competition because it was so emotional so I want to send my love to them.”

British team captain Laviai Nielsen just missed out on a medal in the women’s 400m, setting a personal best of 50.89 seconds to finish fourth as Dutch favourite Femke Bol took gold in a world record time of 49.17 seconds.

Who else impressed?

Belgium’s Alexander Doom caused an upset as he beat Karsten Warholm in the final 50m to take men’s 400m gold, while Grant Holloway delivered gold for the USA in the men’s 60m hurdles and Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice-Zango won the men’s triple jump.

At 19 years and 26 days, Italy’s Mattia Furlani became the youngest long jump medallist in World Indoor Championships history by claiming silver in the men’s event with a leap of 8.22m.

Silver medalist Mattia Furlani, of Italy, poses after finishing the men's long jump during the World Athletics Indoor Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Saturday, March 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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Mattia Furlani won silver in the men’s long jump

The teenager missed out on the title – to Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou – only on countback, with bronze going to Carey McLeod of Jamaica (8.21m).

Julien Alfred delivered Saint Lucia’s first-ever world indoor medal with gold in the women’s 60m final, edging out Poland’s Ewa Swoboda.

Reekie targets 800m success

Jemma Reekie delighted her home crowd by cruising into the final of the women’s 800m with a “perfect” performance. The 25-year-old Scot bided her time in second spot before passing Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu on the final straight to win heat two in commanding fashion in a time of 1:58.28.

World No 5 Reekie progresses to Sunday’s medal race, starting at 9.20pm, as the fastest qualifier across the two semi-finals and had a warning for her podium rivals.

She told BBC Sport: “[It was] perfect planning – you’d think Jon [Bigg, her coach] knew a bit about this sport by now. [It was] really good. I’m in really good shape. Obviously the final’s going to be really tough, but I want them to know if they’re coming to win on my track they’re going to have to work hard. I think it will be a fast one.”

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