Injuries are part and parcel of athletics but chopping off a finger ranks among the more unlikely ailments.

And yet within eight months of a freak incident in the gym last Christmas, Cornwall’s Molly Caudery was claiming the first major medal of her career.

The pole vaulter cleared 4.45m to take silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, before revealing how her entire career had almost been derailed at the end of 2021.

The 22-year-old said: “I chopped my finger off at Christmas, which wouldn’t matter for most events but pole vault you kind of need it! For this year to have gone the way it has, it means so much to me.

"I was in snatch in the gym and as I brought the bar down, it came 90% of the way off. I’ve had three surgeries and I’m back better than ever. I was out for three months or so, missed my whole indoor season.

“I can’t believe it’s real. This crowd is just out of this world, they’re the gift that keeps on giving. They were so supportive throughout and carried me through.

“I’m over the moon with my performance. To come back from Eugene with a lot of disappointment, regroup and perform like that, I’m happy.

“It’s next level, I didn’t know this feeling was possible and it’s given me so much motivation to keep going.”

Molly Caudery in action for England  Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

Molly Caudery in action for England Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

Cornwall might be better known for its rugby players than its athletes, but Molly is Cornish born and bred, originally hailing from Illogan near Redruth.

And the former Truro and Penwith College student could not be prouder of her home county.

She added: “It means so much. I went to my first athletics club when I was 11 until I was 18 and worked with my dad (Stuart), who coached me the whole way. I moved to America for two years, moved back. It’s been a real journey, but Cornwall has always been there to support me and it’s always so nice to go home and be with everyone there.”

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