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New Zealand captain Tim Southee did not rule out the potential of Neil Wagner being called out of retirement for the second Test against Australia in Christchurch if required with Will O'Rourke's hamstring to be assessed in the next 24 hours.

O'Rourke walked off the field five balls into his eighth over on the third day with tightness in his left hamstring. He did not return to the field for the remainder of Australia's second innings, but he did bat day four and was able to run between the wickets although he was never required to sprint.

Southee admitted New Zealand may have got their selection wrong for the second straight Test match after picking four fast bowlers on a Basin Reserve pitch that spun more than he had ever seen in his 16-year Test career.

Hagley Oval in Christchurch has traditionally been even better for pace bowling and less friendly to spin. If O'Rourke is ruled out, New Zealand do not have a fourth seamer in the squad to call on as Wagner retired after being told he would not be selected for either of the Test matches against Australia.

But with New Zealand 1-0 down in the series, Southee was asked specifically post-match whether Wagner could be recalled for Christchurch and he did not rule it out.

"We haven't had a lot of discussions as yet," Southee said. "We'll see how Will scrubs up. The physio hasn't sort of put a timeframe on it or how bad it is. We'll just wait and see how Will goes over the next couple of days. I'm sure there'll be an update in the next 24 hours

"We obviously have to go on and make a decision on who comes in and what role we sort of see that playing out in Christchurch.

"[Wagner's] had a great reception here over the last week where he got a couple of moments on the field and obviously he's been a fan favorite for a long time."

Southee did rule out the possibility of Trent Boult being recalled given he has been playing T20 cricket only in recent times.

"I don't think his loading is up to it on the back of T20," Southee said.

Southee defended the performance of New Zealand's fourth seamer Scott Kuggeleijn in just his second Test match. Kuggeleijn took two wickets in the first innings but conceded 75 runs in 20 overs with just one maiden. He only bowled three overs in the second innings and conceded 18 runs. He also holed out to deep midwicket off Nathan Lyon for a second-ball duck in the first innings when New Zealand needed someone to dig in alongside Glenn Phillips before making 26 in the second.

"He bowled well at times," Southee said. "It was tough out there with that wind, the job he did, picked up a couple of wickets in the first innings which were crucial. It's obviously a very small sample size in the two matches he's played and there's a bit of time, a year between Test matches as well. It's not easy to come in and make an impact straight away."

Kuggeleijn's pace was down under 130kph at times throughout the match but Southee said the strong Wellington wind had made it tough.

Southee pinpointed that Cameron Green's 174 not out and his 116-run 10th-wicket stand with Josh Hazlewood on the second morning was the difference in the game. He conceded that his team got their strategy wrong to Green.

"I think we probably could have tried to get Green out on that second morning," he said. "I think the way he played that that night before, we thought he was probably going to come out and play some shots. But we probably could look to get him out and on that second morning and make things slightly easier than what we did."

Main event canceled due to Serrano's eye injury

Published in Breaking News
Saturday, 02 March 2024 20:06

The scheduled main-event boxing match between Amanda Serrano and Nina Meinke was cancelled on Saturday night, just minutes before it was supposed to happen, it was announced on the card's broadcast.

Serrano suffered an eye injury Friday and was deemed medically unfit to compete by the Puerto Rican Boxing Commission, according to event promoter Most Valuable Promotions (MVP).

The event was billed as Serrano's homecoming, her first time fighting on her home island since becoming undisputed featherweight champion. MVP announced during the event that everyone who paid for tickets to the show would get a 100% refund and Meinke would be paid her full purse.

Serrano appeared in the ring to address the fans and was very emotional. She apologized and said she would one day have her retirement fight in Puerto Rico.

"I wanted to fight in front of my people," Serrano said.

Jake Paul, Serrano's promoter, won in the co-main event, knocking out Ryan Bourland in the first round. He said Serrano's cornea was exposed and it would have been extremely risky for her to compete. Paul said the injury happened 36 hours prior and MVP and Serrano were working to be able to get her ready to fight since then.

"I'm absolutely gutted," Meinke said. "We all wanted this fight -- I wanted this fight. Puerto Rico wanted this fight. I really hope we can make this happen again."

WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel said his sanctioning body will not strip Serrano of her title. Meinke, he said, will remain the mandatory challenger.

"She wanted to fight, but the doctor didn't allow her to fight, because of the problem in the left eye," Valcarcel said. "I assume the fight will be rescheduled and we will sanction the fight."

Shead saves day for new No. 1 Houston vs. OU

Published in Breaking News
Saturday, 02 March 2024 20:06

NORMAN, Okla. -- Jamal Shead hit a short follow shot with 0.4 seconds left, and No. 1 Houston beat Oklahoma 87-85 on Saturday night, giving coach Kelvin Sampson a victory over one of his former schools.

Shead missed a driving layup attempt, but corralled the rebound and put the Cougars back ahead after they blew a 15-point lead. Emanuel Sharp tipped away a desperation pass by Oklahoma's Milos Uzan as time expired.

L.J. Cryer led Houston (26-3, 13-3 Big 12) with 23 points, making 5 of 9 3-pointers. J'Wan Roberts added 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting, and Shead scored 14 points. Houston shot 56.7% from the field and Oklahoma was at 52.7%.

Rivaldo Soares had 16 points for Oklahoma (19-10, 7-9). Le'Tre Darthard had 15 points, finishing 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

Sampson coached Oklahoma from 1994 to 2006, and ranks second in program history with 279 wins and first in winning percentage (.719). Before Saturday, he'd never coached against the Sooners, but Houston's entry into the Big 12 for this basketball season provided that opportunity.

Sampson received a warm welcome as he entered the Lloyd Noble Arena court, with many fans applauding, cheering and standing. Just before player introductions, Sampson and his three assistants with Oklahoma ties -- former players Hollis Price, Quannas White and Kellen Sampson, his son -- were individually recognized with announcements and pictured on the video board.

Houston made its first week this season at No. 1 a successful one, with two wins. The Cougars are a game ahead of No. 8 Iowa State in the conference standings with two games left in the regular season and remain in the conversation for the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Houston has won eight of the last nine games it has played as the No. 1-ranked team and is 35-5 overall while atop the AP poll.

Oklahoma dropped its second game of the week against a top-10 opponent, having lost 58-45 at Iowa State on Wednesday night.

The Sooners pushed Houston to the limit. Javian McCollum's layup with 11.8 seconds left tie at at 85. It came after a hustle play by Uzan, who tracked down a rebound off a missed free throw and threw it off the leg of Sharp, allowing it to carom out of bounds.

Godwin went 6 of 6 from the field and led Oklahoma with 17 points, missing only the one free throw in six attempts as well. He also had seven rebounds.

Texas WR Worthy blazes fastest 40 ever at 4.21

Published in Breaking News
Saturday, 02 March 2024 20:06

INDIANAPOLIS -- Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy saved the best ever for last.

Worthy, the final player to run a 40-yard dash during Saturday's on-field workouts for wide receivers and quarterbacks at the NFL scouting combine, ran an official time of 4.21 seconds to set a combine record, according to the NFL.

Worthy's time makes him the annual event's unquestioned speed king and was a tick of the stopwatch better than Washington wide receiver John Ross' 4.22 at the 2017 combine. Only the offensive linemen are left to run at this year's combine in Sunday's session.

"I just broke the record. It still doesn't feel real," Worthy said. "Man, just a blessing to be able to do this in front of all these fans, with all these peers I'm with."

The Fresno, California, native ran a 4.25 on his first attempt and briefly took off his shoes as if he would not run the second attempt. But after a few moments, Worthy laced up his bright orange shoes again and lined up as the final player with the crowd in Lucas Oil Stadium urging him on.

When he crossed the finish on his second run, as 4.22 flashed on the stadium's videoboards -- later bumped down to 4.21 on the official clock -- the crowd roared.

Worthy started 39 games in his three seasons at Texas and finished fourth all time in yards receiving (2,755) and eighth in punt return yards (564). His career punt return average (14.5) is second-best all time as is his single-season 16.9 yards per return in 2023.

Worthy finished with 1,014 yards receiving this past season with five touchdowns. He averaged 14 yards per catch and scored 12 of his 26 career touchdowns as a freshman in 2021.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. recently projected Worthy to the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 32 overall in his latest mock draft. Worthy is Kiper's No. 9 wide receiver in the class.

Milton planning to sign with Knicks, sources say

Published in Basketball
Saturday, 02 March 2024 18:13

Shake Milton is planning to sign with the New York Knicks upon clearing waivers, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.

Milton agreed to a contract buyout with Detroit and will be eligible for the Knicks' playoff roster.

The Knicks have dealt with a slew of injuries this season and are currently missing starters OG Anunoby, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson.

Milton, 27, would provide backcourt depth New York has been missing between the injuries and a trade last month that sent backup point guard Immanuel Quickley to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Anunoby.

Milton began the season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 4.7 points in 12.9 minutes per game. He was sent to the Pistons in a trade last month and appeared in only four games.

A spark plug off the bench, Milton spent five seasons with the 76ers to begin his career, averaging nearly 10 points per game across his final three seasons in Philadelphia. He signed a two-year deal with a team option in the second year with Minnesota this past summer.

Bronny to decide on draft based on team interest

Published in Basketball
Saturday, 02 March 2024 18:13

USC freshman guard Bronny James is expected to weigh his entry into the 2024 NBA draft based on specific team interest, not draft position, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN on Saturday.

"I don't value a young player getting into the lottery as much as I do getting him on the right team in the right developmental situation," Paul told ESPN on Saturday.

What's more, Paul said, the right team doesn't necessarily equate with landing on a roster with his father, LeBron James -- although LeBron James would be "head over heels excited if that were to happen organically," Paul said.

"LeBron wants Bronny to be his own man," Paul told ESPN.

After suffering a cardiac arrest in a July workout at USC, Bronny James was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that sidelined him for nearly five months. He was cleared to resume his career, made his USC debut on Dec. 11, and has averaged 5.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in nearly 20 minutes a game.

Before the serious heart episode and the long layoff, James had been expected to be a major contributor for the Trojans this season. Out of Sierra Canyon High School, ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony had James ranked in the top 15 of the 2024 NBA draft class.

Because of his heart condition, James will also have to be evaluated and approved by the NBA Fitness to Play Panel. The 2025 NBA draft class is considered much stronger than the 2024 class, which also could be part of the James' calculus on the proper timing to enter the draft.

LeBron becomes first to reach 40K career points

Published in Basketball
Saturday, 02 March 2024 18:13

LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James continues to extend his career to uncharted territory, becoming the first player in NBA history to reach 40,000 career points on Saturday night at Arena.

James came into the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Denver Nuggets needing nine points to reach the mark. He got there with a driving layup at the 10:39 mark of the second quarter.

"No one has ever done it," James said when asked about the point total this week. "And for me to be in this position at this point and time in my career, I think it's pretty cool. Does it sit at the top of the things I've done in my career? No. But does it mean something? Of course. Absolutely. Why wouldn't it? To be able to accomplish things in this league, with the greatest players to ever play in this league, the NBA, this has been a dream of mine and to hit feats and have milestones throughout my career, they all mean something to me.

"Obviously, there's a pecking order of which [accomplishments] are higher than others, but I would be lying to you if I said it doesn't mean anything. Because itabsolutely does."

James airballed his first shot of the night -- a turnaround jumper over Denver's Aaron Gordon -- and then quickly found his groove. Anthony Davis bounced an outlet pass to him as James sprinted down the floor, and the 21-year veteran finished the sequence with a layup at the rim. Not long after, James hit a corner 3-pointer with Nikola Jokic guarding him.

James finished the first quarter with five points, and the home crowd kept a running tally of his countdown to 40,000 on the videoboard.

He started the second quarter with an and-1 layup to bring his total to seven but missed the free throw.

James missed a 3-pointer the next time down, with fans holding up their phones to record the possession in anticipation of his record-setting hoop.

On L.A.'s next trip down the floor, James got the ball beyond the 3-point line, used a spin move to dribble around Michael Porter Jr. and scored a left-handed layup to give him nine points for the game and an even 40,000 for his career.

During an ensuing timeout, James was presented the game ball and received a standing ovation from the crowd after the Lakers played a tribute video on the jumbotron.

He finished with 26 points on 12-of-20 shooting to go with four rebounds and nine assists, but the Lakers lost 124-114. He finished the night with 40,017 career points.

James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career scoring total of 38,387 points last season to overtake the heralded center's perch as the league's all-time scoring leader, a record Abdul-Jabbar held for nearly 40 years.

"You just come to assume and expect these great things that he's doing, whether it's making seven 3s or his downhill attacks, taking off from the [the dotted half circle in the lane] still at this point in time in his career," Lakers coach Darvin Ham said before Saturday's game. "We're not going to see this for a lot longer and have to appreciate him while he's here. ... Just appreciate him for what he's given to the game, what he continues to give to the game and his knowledge, his performance.

"I'm honored to be able to coach him and see it firsthand."

No other active player has even 30,000 career points. Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant is closest with 28,342 points, which makes him the league's No. 9 all-time leading scorer.

When asked if he is motivated to keep playing to pad his lead as the game's leading scorer, James said the record was never something he aimed for.

"I never thought about getting the scoring record," James said. "It just happened organically. I played the game the right way and went out and played the game and let the game come to me and the scoring record happened organically for me. It was never a goal of mine when I came into the league, like I wanted to be the all-time leading scorer. But I'm still playing. And I can still score the ball so [his point total is] going to go up until I'm done playing."

IT IS OPENING Day 2017. Stephen Vogt, the Oakland A's multitalented, multidimensional, multipersonality catcher, was asked to perform something on tape that could be played on TV before his first at-bat that day -- ideally, his hysterical rendition of Chris Farley's riotous "In A Van Down By The River" skit from "Saturday Night Live."

"That's just for my teammates,'' he said. "But I'll sing something for you.''

So, in full uniform, only hours before the first pitch of the season, Vogt sang from three Disney songs, led by a heartwarming diddy from "The Little Mermaid." It was played before his first at-bat of the game, and seconds later, he hit a home run.

From "Under The Sea" to over the fence.

From Ariel to aerial.

That moment, that day, captures who Stephen Vogt is. He is so secure in himself, so comfortable in his own skin. He is meticulously prepared, and "obsessively observant,'' according to former teammate Elliot Johnson -- traits that will be critical for a major league manager. He has tremendous communication skills, the most important attribute of today's manager. And Vogt is relentless: He did not get a hit in his first 32 at-bats in the major leagues, yet found his way to two All-Star teams. This is why the Cleveland Guardians named Vogt, age 39 with no managerial experience on any level, to replace the irreplaceable Tito Francona as their manager.

"Within five minutes of our first Zoom call with him, we got the overwhelming feeling that he would make a great manager -- five minutes,'' Guardians general manager Mike Chernoff said. "Even though he had only coached for one year [2023 with Seattle], he already had a managerial philosophy in place. He walked us through it, and it was obvious that he would be great. And every reference call we made, we heard the same thing, like, 'I only knew him for one year in A-ball, but I knew he would be a great manager.'''

It's a sentiment echoed by plenty of Vogt's former teammates.

"He is the perfect storm of knowledge and awareness and he just got done playing at a very high level,'' Jerry Blevins said. "He checks all the boxes. He is all-of-the above.''

"The baseball gods single out their guys before they are even born,'' former teammate Dallas Braden said. "And they picked Vogter. We all knew he would be a great manager.''

"It's like he has been doing this for 10 years,'' said Guardians catcher Austin Hedges. "His first speech to the team this spring was incredible. The energy in the room is amazing.''

"Vogter is one of the greatest teammates I've ever had,'' said Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy. "He has all the makings to be a Hall of Fame manager.''

IT IS SPRING training in 2012 in Port Charlotte, Florida. Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon organized a talent show.

"That put Stephen on the map,'' said Johnson, then a utility man for the Rays. "He was in minor league camp. I had no idea who he was. No one had ever heard of him. He was one of the last acts. He killed it. He did impersonations [of Maddon, farm director Mitch Lukevics and coach Matt Quatraro]. Everyone was dying laughing. He won the pot. He probably went home with $2,000. The rest of that spring, when we needed someone from minor league camp to come over, we'd say, 'Let's bring that Vogt guy over so he can do impersonations for us.'''

Sure enough, Maddon routinely brought him over to big league camp.

"I had a couple of conversations with him that spring and thought, 'My God, this guy would be perfect on any team,'" Maddon said. "I got a whiff of his humor. He did this impersonation of me where he rides in on his bicycle wearing a Rays jacket and glasses. He gets a fungo and puts it under his one leg and crosses over like I do. Then he starts talking using big words. We'd bring him over in the morning, we would have a huddle before our workouts, and he would rock it every time.''

Giants manager Bob Melvin was one of Vogt's managers with the Oakland Athletics. "The hardest part of every meeting is, 'How does it end?''' Melvin said. "You just clap and say, 'Let's go.' Our meetings always ended with Vogter. Levity. Funny. He is the perfect way to end a meeting.''

The "Van Down By The River" skit is among Vogt's famous impersonations; he even provides his own table that collapses when porky, dorky motivational speaker Matt Foley falls on it.

"I still have that clip on my phone,'' former teammate Sean Doolittle said. "I watch it all the time.''

The communication skills, the importance of inclusion, the sense of humor, the fearless ability to perform and entertain all come from the influence of Vogt's parents, Randy and Toni. They insisted that Stephen and his brother, Danny, do more than sports. Stephen played the trumpet, sang in the choir and did several school plays.

"My mom said we needed to be involved in music because it allows you to appreciate everything,'' Vogt said. "Music was a big part of our family. I sing all the time. What I miss most is singing with the choir. There is no pressure greater than singing a solo. Everyone's parents are watching. Being in a church play, public speaking and performing allows you to tune out the audience and really just focus on what you're supposed to be doing.''

How did his high school baseball and basketball teammates react to him being in the school plays?

"Obviously, I got made fun of, but not too bad,'' Vogt said. "It was the person I was raised to be. People are into different things, that doesn't make one weird. I had a teacher tell me once years after high school that I made uncool things cool. That was such a really neat compliment. Everything is awesome in your own way. Being able to put on your drama hat and go put on your baseball hat, your basketball hat, your student government hat relating to everybody and being able to interact with everybody is super important.''

Johnson sees another way that Vogt's impressions impacted the way he played -- and the way he'll manage.

"He pays attention,'' Johnson said. "When you can do voices and mannerisms, it shows being observant. Vogter was always locked in. He will be [the same] as a manager. When he talks to his players, he will already know everything about them. If someone is too high, too full of himself, he can bring that guy back to center. If someone is too low, he can bring him back up. Great clubhouse guy, secure human.''

"He has an innate ability to make everyone around him more comfortable," Doolittle said.

That will be more important than ever as a manager.

"It's being able to read your teammates and read the room,'' Vogt said. "There are times when the tension gets really high over the course of six months. There are times when we are down as a team. The guys need to laugh. If you're not smiling and laughing on the baseball field, you're not going to play your best. For three hours a day we get to be 12-year-old kids again. If you lose that perspective, not many are good enough to overcome that.''

IT IS SPRING training 2024 with the Guardians. Stephen Vogt is wandering the field wearing uniform No. 12, carrying a fungo bat and observing, missing nothing. Matt Foley and the Disney balladeer are inside him, but as Muncy said, "once the game starts, it's all about winning.''

Doolittle said, "He is one of smartest players I ever played with. He's not a goofball. I would sit next to him on planes. When everyone else is playing cards, he's doing his homework.''

"He is always asking questions," Blevins said. "All the smart people I've been around ask the most questions. He would get into your head. He'd ask me, 'You shook this, why did you want to throw that?' I'd answer his question, and the next time he'd adjust.''

"We learn from failure,'' Vogt said. "No one learns from success. And Lord knows I've had enough failures.''

Vogt was drafted by the Rays in the 12th round in 2007 out of Azusa Pacific College. He finally got to the big leagues in 2012. "He was always a good hitter,'' Maddon said. "But I kept hearing in the meetings that he was going to be a 2-A or 3-A player. His defense was substandard. He heard all those things, too. He was very motivated.''

He went 0-for-25 in his first year with the Rays, then was sold to the A's, where he went hitless in his first seven at-bats. That's 0-for-32: the fourth longest hitless streak by a position player to begin a career in the expansion era (1961-on), trailing only Vic Harris (0-36 in 1972), Lou Camilli (0-34 in 1971) and Chris Carter (0-33 in 2012).

"I don't know how I got through that," Vogt said. "That was tough. You reach your dream of making it to the major leagues and then you go home 0-for-25. You have to look everybody in the eye. You're giving hitting lessons and you're wondering if the kid and parents are asking, 'Why are letting this guy give our kids hitting lessons? The guy can't hit.'''

But in 2015 and 2016, Vogt made the All-Star team with the A's -- and became one of the most popular players at the club. "When he was catching in Oakland, I'd come to the plate and sing what everyone sings in Oakland: 'I believe in Stephen Vogt,''' Hedges said. "We'd be laughing. Great banter. I'd have to say to him, 'Hey Vogter, I got to get locked in here. This is a great conversation, but I'm trying to get a hit off your guy.''

Vogt was waived by the A's in 2017, then played for the Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves, where he won a World Series ring in 2021.

As far back as A-ball, Vogt wanted to be a coach. After watching Melvin manage, he determined that he might be able to do that job someday. "A lot of things suggested that he would manage," Melvin said, "but mostly, it was his interaction with me. The questions he asked me. Things you don't get from a lot of players. He was not afraid to ask. Very inquisitive.''

It was with Milwaukee, where he was injured and couldn't play, that he became certain about his career path. Then-Brewers manager Craig Counsell and general manager David Stearns "allowed me behind the curtain'' to understand free agency, the draft, the whole process, Vogt said.

"I've been building for this for a long time, writing managerial philosophies in notebooks,'' Vogt said of his job in Cleveland. "I'm in a great spot here. There is help everywhere. I need help. We have 200 years of coaching experience on this team. When I got here, we went to 201.''

It helps that Vogt was an active player only two years ago. He has never left the game; nothing has passed him by.

"He already knows exactly what that player is feeling because he constantly has the pulse of everyone around him," Braden said. "He will relate to the 26th guy on the roster exactly the same way as he will relate to the star of the team. It takes a special set of skills to do that. He knows what it takes to get the best out of everyone, every day. And in this analytics world in the big leagues, that skill is more important than it has ever been. He nails it.''

The last player to become a manager only two years after retirement was Larry Bowa in 1989. Vogt's final day in the major league was his most memorable.

"It was Oct. 4, the last day of that [2022] season,'' Braden said. "He has already announced to the world that he is retiring. I go down to the bullpen before the game. Stephen Vogt straps on the gear and does a pregame, ball-blocking drill. He is never going to put shin guards again in his life, and what does he do? He gets his early work in so he could set the right example for everyone. It is always about doing the right thing.''

In the final at-bat of his career, Vogt's three children, Payton (now 12), Clark (9) and Bennett (6), announced his name over the public address system at the Oakland Coliseum.

And, of course, as he always does in the biggest moments, he hit a homer.

"To hear your kids' voices, them saying, 'Now batting, our dad,' it still makes me emotional,'' Vogt said. "It was an incredible moment. The kids were like 'Dad, no way, I can't believe you did that!'''

Actually, with Stephen Vogt, and only Stephen Vogt, it is believable.

Doom and gloom in world indoor 400m

Published in Athletics
Saturday, 02 March 2024 15:19
Belgian surprise package Alexander Doom beats favourite Karsten Warholm to gold at the World Indoor Champs on Saturday

Karsten Warholms gamble of coming into the World Indoor Championships with no indoor races under his belt this season backfired as he suffered a surprise 400m defeat at the hands of Alexander Doom of Belgium.

The unheralded 26-year-old has gone out in the semi-finals at his last three major championships, although he made the European indoor final last year but did not start.

In the AW preview to the championships we forecast Doom to finish fifth, but few people would have tipped him to win a medal, let alone win.

In Glasgow on Saturday, though, he followed Warholm through the first lap as the Norwegian passed 200m in 21.30 (Doom clocked 21.41) before pouncing in the final straight as Warholm tied up.

Doom himself was surprised, saying: Its amazing. I never expected this because we didnt really have this in our sights. Usually I am just focused on the 4x400m. But I loved running individually.

The heats and the semis went really well yesterday and to beat Karsten Warholm today is really amazing. Hes an Olympic champion and has won almost everything there is. Not many people have beaten him.

At the finish line I felt so, so, so gorgeous. Now the focus is back on the 4x400m and qualifying for the Olympics from the World Relays. And then its the summer. The European Championships is a big goal for me.

Warholm, of course, is more at home over 400m hurdles but nevertheless has won the last two European indoor 400m crowns and he is joint holder of the European indoor record of 45.05 with Thomas Schönlebe.

The 28-year-old was a surprise late entrant to the championships and said: I didnt have time to do all the winter work I usually do so I was feeling it a bit with the rounds. All in all its an acceptable time, so its okay.

It was a last-minute decision to come here. I get a little bit of feeling out of it and get to test the body. As long as I didnt get any injuries, it was all okay. Of course, I wish I had won today but it was so nice coming out here and performing in front of all that noise.

Check out our Glasgow 2024 coverage here

Molly Caudery rises to the occasion

Published in Athletics
Saturday, 02 March 2024 15:53
In-form Britons dreams coming true as she wins world indoor pole vault title in Glasgow

Molly Caudery is having the year of her life. For much of 2024, she has been the world leader in the womens pole vault. Now she is the world indoor champion.

The 23-year-old went into the Glasgow event with hopes high that she could win a medal, given the performances which had seen her clearing 4.83m, 4.85m and then 4.86m, as well as bagging the UK Indoor title.

Its one thing to have expectations, though, and quite another to meet them. Its only a handful of months since the Briton had had the second of two Achilles surgeries, after all, and she was coming up against a fearsome level of competition which included the likes of Olympic champion Katie Moon and two-time world indoor gold medal winner Sandi Morris.

The significance of the occasion did not seem to be weighing heavily on the Cornwall native, however, as she bounced out in front of the home crowd, grinning from ear to ear as they roared her appearance. In fact, Caudery looked very much at ease in this rarefied company.

Having entered the competition at 4.55m, it was a second-time clearance of 4.80m which proved crucial for her. With Moon failing to clear that height, Morris having bowed out at 4.75m and European champion Wilma Murto having retired hurt, it was Rio Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney who ultimately stood between Caudery and the promised land.

The New Zealander took one attempt at 4.85m and the opted to pass and instead raise the stakes to 4.90m. Caudery opted to focus on the lower height and could not go clear. Though she was guaranteed silver, she still had to look on and see if her opponent could snatch top prize.

When McCartney couldnt, the Emirates Arena supporters rose and the new champions tears began to fall.

After two surgeries last year, I felt like I was losing belief in myself, and that motivation at times, said Caudery, with Moon completing the podium in third. But thats part of being an athlete you have to turn up each day, get it done and trust that youre on the right flight path.

I honestly cant believe Im a world champion in an Olympic year. My dreams are coming true and Im loving absolutely every single moment of this journey.

Hugues Fabrice Zango (Getty)

The other field champion to be decided on the second evening of competition in Glasgow came in the mens triple jump.

Hugues Fabrice Zango became the world champion both indoors and out after a fifth- round leap of 17.53m, having trailed for much of the competition to Yasser Mohammed Trikis opening effort of 17.35m.

Portuguese Tiago Pereira leapt into third with a final effort of 17.08m, only his second legal jump of the night.

Its never easy to win a championship, said the man from Burkina Faso after what was only his third competition of the year. When I came here I thought I might be able to do something but my season wasnt what I wanted. Tonight I tried and tried and on my fifth jump it finally happened doing 17.53m is really crazy. Im really happy for Burkina Faso, and for Africa because we have two Africans on the podium.

In the mens heptathlon, Ken Mullings of the Bahamas holds a 79-point lead with a tally of 3637 after four events. A high jump clearance of 2.16m lifted him into the lead ahead of Swiss Simon Ehammer, who sits on 3558, and Estonian Johannes Erm (3552). Norways Sander Skotheim is also firmly in contention, just five points further back in fourth place.

Check out our Glasgow 2024 coverage here


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