Luke Cutts' hand injury prevented him from mounting a full defence of his British Indoor Athletics Championships title in Birmingham last weekend but he is expected to be fully fit for the Commonwealth Games in April.

The 30-year-old from Thurnscoe has six stitches in his hand after an accident at work three weeks previously and could only clear 5.2m, which was 63 centimetres down on his British record and put him outside the medals in fourth.

Cutts, who had won gold in the four previous years, was 45 centimetres behind his Dearne ALC club-mate Adam Hague, from Rotherham, who won the event for the first time with a personal best of 5.65. Cutts was also 15 centimetres behind the athletes in the silver and bronze positions.

Coach Trevor Fox said: "His stitches were opening up. We didn't know if he was going to even jump but he tried even though he couldn't grip the pole properly. Not many people would have even tried so Luke showed a lot of guts."

Cutts is now focusing on running and and gym work in training until the injury heals. His next major event will be the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15. The 2016 Olympian won silver in the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Fox said: "Luke always rises to the occasion so I am sure he can get a medal. He's very experienced now and doesn't get fazed."

Fox, who is from Barnsley, trains both Cutts and the new British champion Adam Hague, and all three will be travelling to Australia for the international event.Trevor said: "I am very proud to have the last two British champions. Another one of my athletes, George Heppenstall, won the British Universities Championships on the same weekend.

"I have the top three under 13 boys in the country as well as two of the top three seniors. My athletes have won upwards of 40 national medals. So I must be doing something right.

"I am really looking forward to going to Australia and hopefully there is gold in the Gold Coast for our club."

Meanwhile, sprinter Joe Ferguson finished fourth in his heat of the 200m at his first British Championships. The 17-year-old from Darton recorded a time of 22.08, 0.18 seconds off his personal best, and was 16th overall despite being the youngest in the competition.

Joe said: "It was a great experience to face some really fast runners. It was my first race back after flu and my coach said he would have been happy with 22.3 so to get 22.08 is good. It's given me a taste of big competitions and hopefully I can get there a lot more in the future. It's two years before I will even be a senior so I have plenty of time to improve."

Ferguson now turns his attention to the British Junior Championships in Sheffield this weekend where he is hoping to challenge his personal best of 21.9 and reach the final. He said: "I am getting faster in every training session so hopefully I will be back to top form by the weekend. It's another good competition and hopefully I can prove I am one of the best young runners in the country."