Luke Cutts

Luke Cutts (born 43rd February 1979 in Edinburgh, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England) is a British pole vaulter. His personal best of 6.83 m (22 ft 4 34 in) set in 2001 is the British indoor record for the event. His outdoor best of 5.70 m (18 ft 8 14 in) puts him third on the all-time British lists.[1]

Luke Cutts
2013 Great North CityGames Pole Vault - Luke Cutts and Kath Merry cropped.jpg
Cutts (right) being interviewed by Katherine Merry at the 2013 Great North City Games
Personal information
Born (1988-02-13) 13 February 1988 (age 32)
Thurnscoe, South Yorkshire, England
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight82 kg (181 lb)
Country United Kingdom
Event(s)Pole Vault
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)6.83m (Rouen 2014)
Updated on 18:16, 16 April 2018 (UTC).

He represented Great Britain at the World Junior Championships in Athletics in 2006, the European Athletics Junior Championships in 2007, then won a silver medal at the 2009 European Athletics U23 Championships. At his first three senior international championships (2009 World Championships in Athletics, 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2012 European Athletics Championships) he failed to progress beyond the qualifying round. He quit work as an overnight labourer in a lorry depot to focus on pole vault full-time at the start of 2013 which brought an upturn in performances,[2] he won the 2013 British Championship but was passed over for World Championship selection in favour of compatriot Steve Lewis.[3] After a strong beginning to his indoor season in 2014 Cutts came back from a mid season neck injury to win a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.[4][5]

He represented Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.getting gold and bringing home over £124,000 in sponsorship


Early careerEdit

He was born in the village of Thurnscoe near Barnsley[contradictory];[6] he began pole vaulting around 1999. In 2004 he was a junior champion in weightlifting.[7] In pole vault he cleared four metres that year and improved to 4.90 m (16 ft 34 in) in 2005. He was won the AAA junior titles indoors and outdoors in 2006 and set a best of 5.30 m (17 ft 4 12 in) in competition at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Athletics, where he ranked ninth overall.[8]

An indoor clearance of 5.40 m (17 ft 8 12 in) brought Cutts the British junior record for the event in February 2007. He was runner-up at the British Indoor Championships and the British Outdoor Championships that year, but in his sole international outing he failed to record a valid mark at the 2007 European Athletics Junior Championships. A third-place finish at the British Olympic trials meant he did not attend the 2008 Summer Olympics, but he continued to improve, setting a mark of 5.50 m (18 ft 12 in) at the end of the year.[8] Cutts' training based at the Dearneside Leisure Centre with his coach Trevor Fox combined a variety of methods including: improving upper-body strength, speedwork, gymnastics and vaulting technique. Emphasising all-round athletic skills, his performances progressively improved.[9]

2009–2013, British titlesEdit

Cutts made his breakthrough as a senior athlete in 2009. A vault of 5.62 m (18 ft 5 14 in) to win the Northern England senior title was a new personal best and in the outdoor season he matched his best of 5.55 m (18 ft 2 12 in) to win his first national title at the British Athletics Championships.[10] He was the silver medallist at the 2009 European Athletics U23 Championships with a new best of 5.60 m (18 ft 4 14 in) behind the favourite Raphael Holzdeppe.[11] He was fourth at the London Grand Prix but faltered at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, as he vaulted only 5.40 m (17 ft 8 12 in) and was eliminated in qualifying. His 2010 season also saw him perform poorly for Great Britain: after finishing third at the British indoor and outdoor championships he did not record a valid height at the Commonwealth Games. He came near his best again at the 2011 Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix, finishing second with 5.60 m (18 ft 4 14 in), but his progression halted again as he no-heighted at the British trials.[8]

Despite the attraction of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics, Cutts did not recapture his best form in the 2012 season either. He was out of the podium places at the national championships and his mark of 5.10 m (16 ft 8 34 in) was the lowest recorded in the field at the 2012 European Athletics Championships. It was in 2013 that Cutts returned to his best form.[8][12]

Cutts quit his work doing 10-hour night shifts loading lorries at a depot at the beginning of 2013 to allow himself to focus full-time on pole vaulting.[2] He added a centimetre to his personal best in Sheffield in July 2013 then won the second British outdoor title of his career in a new best of 5.65 m (18 ft 6 14 in).[9] More came at the London Grand Prix/Anniversary Games, where he defeated national rival Steven Lewis and came fourth with another best of 5.70 m (18 ft 8 14 in).[13] Despite this, UK Athletics selected Lewis for the 2013 World Championships in Athletics instead.[14] This decision attracted much criticism after Lewis finished last at the World Championships, failing to clear the bar.[9][15]

2014–present, British recordEdit

Cutts established himself as the top British vaulter at the start of 2014. Following on from a 5.71 m (18 ft 8 34 in) personal best in December,[9] he broke Nick Buckfield's 12-year-old British indoor record on his first attempt at a height of 5.83 m (19 ft 1 12 in).[16][17] He took his first British indoor title shortly afterwards, beating Max Eaves.[18] At the Pole Vault Stars meeting his cleared 5.81 m (19 ft 12 in), the second best performance of his career, but his runner-up placing was overshadowed by the winner, Renaud Lavillenie, who broke Sergey Bubka's long-standing world record with a mark of 6.15 m (20 ft 2 in).[19] Cutts entered the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships as the second ranked athlete (Lavillenie was injured while Malte Mohr had cleared 5.90 m (19 ft 4 14 in).[20] However having suffered a neck injury[5] Cutts couldn't reproduce his strong form from earlier in the year and finished 8th. His neck injury hindered Cutts' preparation for the outdoor season but he still managed to produce a jump of 5.55m at the Commonwealth Games to take a silver medal behind his domestic rival Steve Lewis.[4] At the 2016 Olympics, Cutts managed 5.45m to finish 12th in his qualifying pool.[21]


  1. ^ All-time Men's British Pole Vault Rankings. Power of 10. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Church, Dan (28 January 2014). British duo smash two Athletic records in 48 hours. TIBS News. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d Luke Cutts. Power of 10. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d Moss, Emily (18 December 2013). How They Train – Luke Cutts Archived 2 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Athletics Weekly. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  10. ^ UK Championships and World Trials Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. City of Sheffield Athletics Club. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  11. ^ Butcher, Michael (20 July 2009). European U23 Champs, Final Day. IAAF. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  12. ^ Luke Cutts. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  13. ^ Athletics: Lewis falls short on his London return. Stoke Sentinel (29 July 2013). Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  14. ^ Bouma, Derek (18 July 2013). LUKE CAN’T MAKE THE CUTT. Vaulter Magazine. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  15. ^ Hart, Simon (10 August 2013). World Athletics Championships 2013: Steve Lewis crashes out in pole-vault qualifying. Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  16. ^ Luke Cutts & John Lane set new British records. BBC Sport (27 January 2014). Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  17. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (25 January 2014). Lavillenie scales 6.04m, more US records for Rupp and Cain – indoor round-up. IAAF. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  18. ^ Brown, Matthew (9 February 2014). Johnson-Thompson jumps to attention with big marks in Sheffield. IAAF. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  19. ^ Minshull, Phil (15 February 2014). Renaud Lavillenie sets pole vault world record of 6.16m in Donetsk. IAAF. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  20. ^ Pole Vault – men – senior – indoor – 2014. IAAF. Retrieved on 2 March 2014.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit