Molly Caudery

For years, the women’s pole vault in the UK was Holly Bradshaw, culminating in a new GB record and an Olympic medal. Then, that freak accident in Oregon when a pole snapped, ending her 2022 season, just when she was ready to build on her 2021 Olympic success. The 2023 season was a struggle, too. Then she announced a split from her long-time coach, Scott Simpson. Holly is working towards a last hurrah in Paris, but at the same time, suddenly, the whole GB women’s PV scene looks brighter.

Molly Caudery with new British NR, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

Molly Caudery cleared 4m in 2016 when she was 16 and 4.50m two years later.  In 2022, she came of age, so to speak, coming second in the Commonwealth Games, seventh in the Europeans, and stretching her PR to 4.60m.  Last year, she leaped to 4.71m (GB Champs). 4.75m (World Champs Budapest for 5th place and 4.66m in Zurich.

Molly Caudery, national champion, Microplus UK Athletics Indoor Champs, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

She cleared 4.83m on her 2024 season debut at the Meeting de L’Eure, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver meeting, in Val-de-Reuil at the end of January.

This weekend in Birmingham, she entered the competition at 4.41m, continuing to 4.85m, a World Lead.  She said of her performance at Birmingham: “I was actually really nervous coming in, so the first thing is to play it safe and to get a jump on the board.  I use the nerves to my advantage.  I can’t jump without shaking and some nerves.  I therefore need to get that early bar on the board.  Rarely does an event go so to plan as it did today.

Molly Caudery cleared 4.85m at Microplus UK Athletics Indoor Champs, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics.

“It is amazing and almost overwhelming.  I know I am in great shape, but it is still fantastic to execute on the day.  You could hear a pin drop when I went for that last height.  I have to trust my training and not do too much; just build that consistency.  My consistency this winter in training has really carried me.  I have had so many injuries that it is so pleasing to get that win and height today after a good block of feeling fit and well.

Molly Caudery, 4.85m, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

“I need to re-evaluate my plans for the season as 4.80m was my target, so I have already gone above and beyond. The British record would be amazing and probably my new target. I have one more competition next weekend; I tend to use the comps as my jump sessions with rest in between.   Then, it will be off to the Worlds after some rest and recuperation.

Molly Caudery cleared 4.85m, another PB, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics.

“At the Worlds, the medal will be my focus.  To get to Paris will be a dream come true.  Once I am there, it will be medals, of course, but first, it is to get on that runway.  Women’s pole vault internationally is amazing, and in the UK, too, it has come on.  We are a great bunch and very supportive of each other”.