Athletics: Kiwi speedster Zoe Hobbs breaks Oceania record to reach world indoor final at Glasgow

Kiwi pole vaulter Eliza McCartney has capped her return to the international stage with a world indoor title at Glasgow.

After several seasons plagued by injury, McCartney is attempting her latest comeback with the Paris Olympics her main focus, but showed she will be tough to beat, if healthy, with her victory over a classy field under the roof.

Clearing her opening height of 4.55m with her first attempt and 4.65m on her second, she snatched the lead with first-time success at 4.75m, as her nearest rivals stalled out.

Brit Molly Caudrey, American Katie Moon and Swiss Angelica Moser eventually joined McCartney at the next height, and world leader Caudrey snatched the initiative, clearing 4.80m on her second attempt.

McCartney followed on her third to secure at least silver and keep the competition alive.

Both failed their first at 4.85m, but the Kiwi chose to pass to 4.90m and Caudrey could not clear 4.85m. McCartney stalled out on her first try at 4.90m, but soared over the bar on her second, only to come down on top.

"That was a really intense competition, it was absolutely wild," McCartney told Newshub. "Honestly, I'm just please to be out there.

"I just really enjoyed being able to compete, feeling healthy, having an amazing crowd... it was just a cool competition to have a shot at some high heights.

"One of my goals today was to have a look at 4.90... it was literally the only reason I passed, because I haven't done it in ages. I was really happy, the last attempt was good."

Meanwhile, Kiwi sprinter Zoe Hobbs has twice broken her own Oceania record to miss a medal over 60 metres by 0.01s.

Zoe Hobbs in action at the world indoor championships.
Zoe Hobbs in action at the world indoor championships. Photo credit: Getty Images

With two automatic qualifiers from each of the three semis advancing, Hobbs, 26, finished third in her race, behind American Aleia Hobbs (7.04s) and Italian Zaynab Dosso (7.09s), but her 7.09s was enough to sneak through as the fastest third-placegetter and fifth fastest overall.

The performance eclipsed her previous area record of 7.13s, set at Belgrade in 2022. After reaching the semi-finals at Belgrade (indoors), and Oregon 2022 and Budapest 2023 outdoors over 100 metres, this was Hobbs' first major championship final.

As the field lined up for the medal race, American Hobbs withdrew with a leg injury suffered at the end of her semi. In an outside lane, Kiwi Hobbs finished fast to slash another three-hundredths of a second off her best, clocking 7.06s.

"I'm surprisingly happy," Hobbs told Newshub. "Finishing fourth by 0.01 is bittersweet, but it's an area record, it's a massive PB and I executed a really good race, so that was the goal coming over here... to use it as prep for Paris.

"It's a confidence booster and to have practice going through three rounds, and immerse myself in a race that's really competitive, settling the nerves and handling the warm-up beforehand."

St Lucian Julien Alfred took gold with 6.98s, outleaning Pole Ewa Swoboda (7.00s), with Dosso third in 7.05s.