Rutherford inspired by Carl Lewis

13 April 2012 / 09:36

Britain's Greg Rutherford has revealed he has been learning to copy the technique of the great Carl Lewis to boost his chances of Olympic glory this summer.

As well as his numerous medals over 100 metres, 200m and the 4x100m relay, Lewis claimed Olympic gold in the long jump in four successive Games from 1988. Rutherford has been plagued by injuries since his breakthrough silver medal in the European Championships in 2006 and is hoping changes in technique will help.

He said: "We've drawn upon some of the best jumpers in history to take some key factors and hopefully that's going to amount to some much bigger distances and me actually being able to string together plenty of competitions without much issue."

So although he retired from the sport in 1997, the year after his final Olympics in Atlanta, 50-year-old Lewis is indirectly helping Rutherford in his quest for a medal in London.

Rutherford said: "Ever since I joined Dan Pfaff I've been trialling different technical changes and this year again we've changed something else so that's a big aim, to stop any form of issues happening," Rutherford said from the Aviva-funded training camp in Los Angeles.

"I won't say exactly what it is yet because I want to see if it is noticeable to everyone watching, but there's definitely a big change." He added: "In previous years I've had plenty of injuries and illness so we're hoping with smarter training and better jumping that won't be a problem any more."

Asked which athletes in particular he has been learning from, Commonwealth silver medallist Rutherford added: "Carl Lewis has been a big one. I'm quite fortunate, just using the aid of YouTube there's quite a lot of footage of him.

"The likes of Ivan Pedroso (the 2000 Olympic champion) are just a completely different build to me, but someone like Carl who's a lot more similar is easier for me to relate to in terms of improving myself.

"I look at a lot of his slowed down jumps and the things he did on the run up and take off, which I've found I can now replicate, which hopefully is now going to be a big part of my season.

"I'm not trying to say I am Carl Lewis at all, he's obviously an incredible athlete, but there are things I believe I can take from what he did which I believe will improve me."