Greg Rutherford wins Long Jump gold medal at the IAAF World Athletics Championships
Adds World gold to the Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles.
Joins Olympic Super Saturday gold medallists Mo Farah and Jess Ennis-Hill in winning titles in Beijing
BEIJING, CHINA – Greg Rutherford once more proved he was an athlete for the big occasions, as he added World Championships Gold to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth golds.
With a bound of 8.41m, Rutherford joins a truly elite group of British athletes who have held all four titles at the same time – Daley Thompson (Decathlon), Linford Christie (100m), Sally Gunnell (400m hurdles) and Jonathan Edwards, (triple jump).
Rutherford may have made a few waves in the build up to the championships, criticising the lack of a Union flag on the British vests, for example, but showed no end of heart when it came to his fourth round leap (having fouled his first jump), which put him well ahead of Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre (8.24m) and home favourite, China’s Wang Jianan.
He admitted to the BBC Sport’s Phil Jones after the competition that he had woken up that morning with a splitting headache, but praised the British Athletics teams who help him along the way, as the emotions finally got the better of him.
“I’m a bit lost for words. What an incredible night. It’s been unreal,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable. This was my best ever performance. The stresses this year, I can’t even express to you. I can’t wait to get home and see my family.”
Rutherford buried the bad memories of his performance seven years ago at the Beijing Olympics, where he had finished 10th, coping with the death of his grandfather and ending up in hospital the day after with kidney and lung infections. He has faced critics who have commented at length about his Olympic gold being a ‘fluke’ and in particular criticising his 8.20m Commonwealth title-winning jump, but has consistently delivered the winning leaps when it counts.
Laura Muir finished fifth in the 1,500m final, won by Genzebe Dibaba, and this result made up for the frustrations of last year, where she missed out on the medals at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
“I’m really pleased – that was such a tough field,” said Muir. “I think any other year I probably would have medalled.
“To come fifth against that other competition I am really, really happy. I expected it to be hard, it’s a championship final.
“This is the first time I’ve done three rounds, so to have got three and done them well, my preparation for next year is good. 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,” she added
Zharnel Hughes joins his training partner Usain Bolt in the semi-finals of the 200m after winning his heat (20.13s) along with Danny Talbot, who finished third in his heat (20.35s).
Defending champion Christine Ohuruogu cruised into the 400m final winning her semi-final in a season’s best time of 50.16s, but team-mate Anyika Onuora bowed out.
The IAAF World Championships continue on Wednesday at 9:30am (2:30am BST).
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