Rutherford ready to raise his game
August 3, 2012 09:57 am
Lynn Davies is the only British man to have ever won an Olympic medal in the long jump, but Greg Rutherford believes the home nation could double or even triple their tally on home soil.
Rutherford comes into the London Games on top of the world rankings in 2012 after equalling the British record of 8.35 metres in May, with the man he shares the record with - Middlesbrough's Chris Tomlinson - also in medal contention.
"I've always said 8.50m or something around there would be needed for gold, but it depends who turns up," the 25-year-old from Milton Keynes said. "If Mitchell Watt and Sebastian Bayer turn up firing on all cylinders it could get to those distances.
"It's tough to predict. All I know is that my big jumps were earlier this year and I should be able to add some decent centimetres to that, and that means everyone needs to beat me.
"Chris jumped 8.26m at Crystal Palace as well (in the London Grand Prix on July 13). There are probably seven or eight of us who could do some damage. You expect people to raise their game but I expect to be one of them."
It took 'just' 8.34m to win Olympic gold four years ago and Rutherford, who finished 10th in Beijing, added: "I remember that well. You could jump 8.20m and win Olympic gold. It's not like pole vault or high jump where a height is set, it's however people perform on the day."
Rutherford has been plagued by injuries since winning the European junior title in 2005, but believes he has managed his schedule to perfection ahead of London, with long jump qualifying taking place this evening.
"Surprisingly I'm feeling absolutely tremendous," the Commonwealth silver medallist admitted. "It's a good place to be at the moment. The wisest thing I could have done was cut off the last couple of competitions. In doing that I've given my body that bit extra rest which is what I needed.
"You are often fighting demons if you have had injuries but having confidence in your team makes it easier to get rid of them. It's just a matter of being sensible. I am confident in my team that they will spot anything before it goes wrong."
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