Rutherford reels in elusive World gold

Rutherford reels in elusive World gold

25 August 2015 / 14:56

Greg Rutherford was struggling to take it all in after he completed his collection of major titles after winning long jump gold at the World Championships in Beijing.

Heading to China Rutherford was looking to get his hands on an elusive World Championship gold with this the only title missing on his CV after topping the podium at an Olympic and Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.

And the 28-year-old looked in ominous form early on, taking the lead with an early effort of 8.29m before Americans Mike Hartfield and Jeff Henderson exited the competition – the latter having qualified for the final in first place.

But Rutherford wasn’t done there, recording the second best jump of his career when he leapt 8.41m with his fourth-round effort.

And after collecting Great Britain’s third gold medal – alongside fellow London 2012 champions Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill – to move his nation up to second in the medal table after day four, Rutherford admitted some wise words from his coach had made all the difference.

“I’m bit lost for words, what an incredible night. That was an accumulation of so many people’s work – Dan Pfaff, what an amazing lead coach and Jonas [Tawiah-Doodoo], who’s been helping him as well.

“Andy Burke the therapist who’s been here has helped me as well and more than anything my family and friends, who have been unreal. They’ve built me a long jump pit in the garden, and that’s pretty special.

“Dan basically told me after the third round, ‘what an earth are you playing at, why are you fouling?  Just get one in and close the night.’

“The next round I managed to catch one and I hope 8.41m is acceptable for people this time. I’m pretty sure that is a stadium record, so I’ll take that – maybe I’m not too bad of a long jumper.”

Meanwhile, Christine Ohuruogu ran a season’s best of 50.16 seconds to qualify for the 400m final.

All five of Ohuruogu’s sub-50-second performances have come at major championships but the 30-year-old reigning world champion will have a fight on her hands to retain her title with eight-time world gold medallist Allyson Felix producing an impressive 49.89 performance in the final heat.

In the same heat as the American Anyika Onuora made it two personal bests in two rounds, this time clocking 50.87, but her fifth-place finish wasn’t enough to see her through to the showpiece.

In the men’s 200m heats both Zharnel Hughes and Danny Talbot booked their places in the semi-finals, while Laura Muir finished her campaign with a fifth-place finish in the 1500m final.
The 22-year-old gave her all as she picked off a few competitors in the final lap to cross the line in 4:11.48 minutes.

“I’m really pleased – that was such a tough field and I think in any other year I probably would have medalled,” Muir said. “To come fifth against that other competition I am really, really happy.

“I left last year so frustrated as I knew I could run so much better, but it’s great to have come here and have done well in the final.”

© Sportsbeat 2015