Luke Cutts' coach says the pole vaulter is the favourite for the World Indoor Championships this weekend after world record holder Renauld Lavillenie pulled out through injury.
British number one Cutts was in the Ukraine with Lavillenie last month when the French Olympic champion and world number one cleared 6.16m to smash the 21-year-old world record. But he picked up a foot injury and will miss the world indoors in Sopot, Poland tomorrow.
Thurnscoe man Cutts, 25, finished second in the Ukraine with 5.81m, just two centimetres short of his British record, and his coach Trevor Fox believes Lavillenie's absence has paved the way for him to win gold in an event which has never brought Britain a medal in before.
"I think Luke could be considered the favourite now," said Barnsley man Fox, who coaches Cutts at Dearne ALC. The pair flew to Poland on Wednesday.
"Lavillenie pulling out opens it up for quite a few of them to win. The German Rafael Holzdeppe is the only one to have jumped higher than Luke this season but Luke has beaten him before. It will be different for him to be favourite instead of the underdog but nothing fazes Luke. I think he will definitely win a medal and it will probably be gold."
Full interview in this week's Chronicle.