Greg Rutherford

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For the footballer, see Greg Rutherford (footballer).
Greg Rutherford
MBE
Greg Rutherford Our Greatest Team Parade.jpg
Rutherford at the victory parade for the 2012 Summer Olympics
Personal information
Full name Gregory James Rutherford
Born (1986-11-17) 17 November 1986 (age 28)
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 87 kg (192 lb)
Sport
Country England England
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Club Marshall Milton Keynes Athletics Club
Turned pro 2005
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) Long Jump 8.51 m (Chula Vista 2014)
100m 10.26 (Gateshead 2010)[1]
Updated on 25 April 2014.

Gregory James Rutherford, MBE (born 17 November 1986)[2][3] is an English athlete who specialises in the long jump and also competes as a sprinter. He won the long jump gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2014 European Athletics Championships, and is the current British record holder for this event.

Early life[edit]

Rutherford grew up in Bletchley, Milton Keynes[4] where he attended Two Mile Ash Primary School[5] and went on to Denbigh School.[6] He is the great-grandson of footballer Jock Rutherford, who won three Football League First Division titles with Newcastle United and 11 England caps, and is also the oldest player ever to have played for Arsenal;[7] his grandfather also played for Arsenal.[8] Rutherford played several sports as a youth including football, rugby and badminton.[9] He had trials with Premiership football club Aston Villa as a teenager before deciding to pursue a career in athletics.[10]

Career[edit]

2005–2007[edit]

Rutherford became the youngest ever winner of the long jump event at the AAA Championships in 2005, aged 18.[9] He also won the European Junior Championships that year, setting a British junior record of 8.14 m.[10]

Rutherford was selected to represent England at the 2006 Commonwealth Games,[10] where he finished 8th.[3] He won the AAA championships again that year with a jump of 8.26 m.[11] On 8 August 2006, he won the silver medal in the long jump at the European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg with a jump of 8.13 m.[12]

Rutherford missed much of the 2007 season due to a succession of injury problems, including an ankle injury for which he had surgery in February of that year.[13] He competed at the 2007 World Championships but did not reach the final, finishing 21st in the qualifying round.[14]

2008–2011[edit]

Rutherford won the AAA title on 12 July 2008, reaching the Olympic qualifying distance of 8.20m.[15] He also won the London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace two weeks later with a distance of 8.16 m.[16] At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing Rutherford qualified for the final in third place with a distance of 8.16 m. In the final, he had two no-jumps in the first two rounds, and recorded a distance of 7.84 m in the third round. This was not enough to place him in the top 8 who would continue to the final three rounds, and he finished in 10th place.[17]

Rutherford competing in the 100 m at the Arena Games in Hilversum, 2010

Rutherford set a British record of 8.30 m on 20 August 2009 in the qualifying round of the World Athletics Championships in Berlin,[18] improving the previous record held by Chris Tomlinson by 1 cm.[19] He was unable to match this performance in the final of the event, finishing fifth with a jump of 8.17 m.[20]

Rutherford did not compete at the 2010 European Championships due to a foot injury.[21] On 18 September he set a personal best for the 100 m of 10.26 seconds in the invitational event at the Great North City Games.[1][22] At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he won the silver medal with a jump of 8.22 m.[21]

Rutherford extended his personal best in the long jump to 8.32 m at the Eugene Diamond League meeting on 4 June 2011, although it was not recognised as a British record as it was wind assisted.[23] In July 2011 Chris Tomlinson broke Rutherford's British record with a jump of 8.35 m in Paris.[24] At the 2011 World Championships, Rutherford injured a hamstring during the qualifying round and did not reach the final.[19]

After the 2011 season, Rutherford worked on his take-off technique with his coach Dan Pfaff, adopting a technique based on that of Carl Lewis of making the penultimate step of the approach a lateral step outwards.[25]

2012[edit]

Rutherford after winning the long jump at the 2012 Olympics

Rutherford equalled Tomlinson's British record on 3 May 2012 with a jump of 8.35 m at the OTC Pre-Olympic Series II event in Chula Vista, California.[26] It was also the longest jump of 2012 at the time (later equalled by Sergey Morgunov on 20 June).[27]

Pair of post boxes in Milton Keynes painted gold in honour of Rutherford

At the 2012 Olympics in London, Rutherford reached the final with a jump of 8.08 m, qualifying in fourth place.[28] In the final, he took the lead in the second round with a jump of 8.21 m, improving to 8.31 m in the fourth round which proved to be the winning jump.[29] Rutherford became the second British man to win Olympic gold in the long jump,[30] the first was Lynn Davies in 1964.[6] Although his winning distance of 8.31 m was the shortest since 1972,[29] it was 15 cm ahead of silver medallist Mitchell Watt[31] and his second-best jump of 8.21 m would also have been enough to win the gold.[32] Rutherford's gold was one of three won by British track and field athletes on the evening of 4 August 2012 (the others were won by Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon and Mo Farah in the men's 10,000 m); this was the first time that three gold medals had been won by British athletes in the same Olympic athletics session.[33]

Following his gold medal, Rutherford (as with the other British 2012 Olympic champions) was featured on a Royal Mail postage stamp, and two post boxes in Milton Keynes were painted gold in his honour.[34]

2013[edit]

Rutherford parted company with Dan Pfaff, his coach, in early 2013, when Pfaff returned to his native United States.[35]

Rutherford sustained a hamstring injury during the Paris Diamond League meeting on 6 July, which forced him to withdraw midway through the competition.[36] British Athletics delayed announcing their selection for the men's long jump at the World Championships due to the injury, but on 30 July Rutherford's selection was confirmed after he passed fitness tests.[37] At the championships Rutherford failed to reach the final, finishing 14th in the qualifying round on 14 August with a jump of 7.87 m.[38] In the autumn of 2013 Rutherford appointed Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo as his coach. Tawiah-Dodoo also coaches 100m 2013 European Junior Champion Chijindu Ujah and 200m 2011 European Junior Champion David Bolarinwa. Rutherford's decision to work with a sprint coach was inspired by advice from former World and Olympic long jump champion Dwight Phillips.[35]

2014[edit]

In February 2014, Rutherford said he would trial for the winter sports events of bobsleigh and skeleton, in the hope of competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics. He told The Guardian: "There is something about going down the ice head first that massively appeals to me. I genuinely want to try skeleton and bobsleigh. [...] If I am good enough, my plan will be to continue through to the summer Olympics and after 2016 either switch or spend my winters doing the new sport."[39] In April, at an early season event at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, Rutherford jumped a personal best of 8.51 m, setting a new British record.[40] The new record was disputed by rival long-jumper Chris Tomlinson, who used video evidence to suggest the jump was illegal, but a technical panel assembled by UK Athletics deemed the video evidence to be inconclusive, and the record was upheld.[41]

Rutherford won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in July with a jump of 8.20 m.[42] In August he won gold at the European Athletics Championships with a jump of 8.29 m.[43]

Media appearances[edit]

In 2012, Rutherford, along with fellow athlete Louis Smith took part in an episode of The Million Pound Drop Live as part of their 'Celebrity Games' series.[44] In 2013, he appeared in an episode of Fake Reaction[45] and took part in a celebrity special edition of The Cube.[46]

On 14 January 2014, Rutherford participated in The Great Sport Relief Bake Off.[47]

On 20 June 2014, Rutherford appeared on Celebrity Fifteen to One.[48]

On 22 November 2014, Rutherford appeared as a contestant on The Chase: Celebrity Special.[49]

Honours[edit]

Rutherford was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to athletics.[2] In July 2013, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science by the University of Bedfordshire.[50]

Personal life[edit]

Rutherford lives in Woburn Sands, a small town on the outskirts of Milton Keynes.[51][52]

He is a fan of Manchester United.[25] Rutherford is an Athlete Ambassador for the global sport for development charity Right To Play. In August 2014, Rutherford was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[53]

Statistics[edit]

Personal bests[edit]

Event Time/distance Venue Date Records
60 metres (indoor) 6.68 seconds[54] Birmingham, United Kingdom 21 February 2009
100 metres 10.26 seconds Gateshead, United Kingdom 18 September 2010
Long jump 8.51 m Chula Vista, California 25 April 2014 British record

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
2005 European Junior Championships Kaunas, Lithuania 1st 8.14 m
2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia 8th 7.85 m
European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd 8.13 m
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 10th 7.84 m
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 5th 8.17 m
2010 Commonwealth Games New Delhi, India 2nd 8.22 m
2012 Olympic Games London, England 1st 8.31 m
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 1st 8.20 m
European Championships Zurich, Switzerland 1st 8.29 m

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wenig, Jörg (5 August 2012). "Rutherford: ‘This is what I have dreamt of my entire life’". IAAF. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 25. 29 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Men's Long Jump Final". Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Mullin, Cheryl (5 August 2012). "Greg Rutherford hails Olympic victories a 'great night for athletics'". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Primary school planning ‘Greg Rutherford area’". Milton Keynes Citizen. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Mendick, Robert (4 August 2012). "Greg Rutherford takes first GB gold in long jump for 48 years". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Golden Greg keen to cap Games triumph". Press Association. 5 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Vadukut, Sidin (5 August 2012). "Right returns to the right investment". Livemint. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Greg Rutherford". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Hart, Simon (19 March 2006). "Commonwealth Games: Rutherford ready for jump up to the next level". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "AAA Championships (Men)". gbrathletics.com. Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Mackay, Duncan (9 August 2006). "Rutherford's silver offers Britain hope on a dark day". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Rutherford braced for trials test". BBC Sport. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Who is long jumper Greg Rutherford?". BBC Sport. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Rutherford finds form at trials". BBC Sport. 12 July 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  16. ^ Turnbull, Simon (27 July 2008). "Rutherford lifts himself with hopes of history". The Independent. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "No Olympic medal for Rutherford". MK News. 18 August 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  18. ^ Kessel, Anna (21 August 2009). "Greg Rutherford makes his great leap forward". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Jones, Cass (5 August 2012). "London 2012: Greg Rutherford overcomes injury to clinch gold". The Observer. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "GB quartet seal stunning bronze". BBC Sport. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "Commonwealth Games – Rutherford leaps to silver". Eurosport. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "England beat Australia but Ashes trophy goes to the wire". Great CityGames. 18 September 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. 
  23. ^ "Eugene as it happened". BBC Sport. 4 June 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  24. ^ Hart, Simon (8 July 2011). "Cold start can't stop cruising Usain Bolt while Chris Tomlinson sets British long jump record". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "Greg Rutherford interview". Sport. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  26. ^ "Greg Rutherford equals British long jump record ahead of London 2012". The Guardian. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  27. ^ Turnbull, Simon (3 August 2012). "Rutherford leaps under the radar". The Independent. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  28. ^ "Ennis pleased by heptathlon lead". ESPN Star Sports. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  29. ^ a b Arcoleo, Laura (4 August 2012). "London 2012 – Event Report – Men's Long Jump Final". IAAF. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  30. ^ Mulvenney, Nick (4 August 2012). "Rutherford leaps to join British gold rush". Reuters. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  31. ^ Dutta, Kunal (5 August 2012). "Rutherford comes good and takes surprise gold in long jump". The Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  32. ^ "Rutherford leaps to long jump gold". ESPN. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  33. ^ "Ennis, Farah, Rutherford light up London 2012 Olympics for GB". BBC Sport. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "Stamp and postbox for golden boy Rutherford". MK News. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  35. ^ a b Hart, Simon (25 April 2014). "Greg Rutherford shatters British long jump record with leap of 8.51 metres in San Diego". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  36. ^ Cryer, Andy (6 July 2013). "Usain Bolt wins Diamond League Paris 200m in fastest time of year". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  37. ^ "Greg Rutherford selected for World Championships". BBC Sport. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  38. ^ "Greg Rutherford backs Worlds selection after failing to reach final". BBC Sport. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  39. ^ Sean Ingle. "Greg Rutherford says he will switch sports to go for Winter Olympic gold | Sport". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  40. ^ "Greg Rutherford sets outright British long jump record". BBC Sport. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  41. ^ 13:00 (2014-05-27). "BBC Sport - Long Jump: Greg Rutherford record deemed legal". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  42. ^ "Glasgow 2014: Greg Rutherford leaps to Commonwealth gold". BBC Sport. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  43. ^ "European Championships: Greg Rutherford wins long jump gold". BBC Sport. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  44. ^ "Louis Smith & Greg Rutherford". The Million Pound Drop. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  45. ^ "Fake Reaction Episode 1.2". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  46. ^ "Episode 8: The Cube - Christmas Special". itv.com. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  47. ^ "Great Sport Relief Bake Off: Jane Horrocks, Helen Skelton competing - Great British Bake Off News - Reality TV". Digital Spy. 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  48. ^ Jun 20 (2014-06-20). "Remedy Productions on Twitter: Who will be watching? @BenFoden @chrishollinsTV @jameelajamil @GregJRutherford 15-1 tonight at 8! @adamhillscomedy @Fifteentoone @Channel4". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  49. ^ [1]
  50. ^ "Greg Rutherford awarded honorary doctorate". BBC News Online. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  51. ^ "Greg Rutherford: mayor pays tribute after golden triumph". MK News. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  52. ^ "Greg Rutherford: Inspiring a golden generation of Milton Keynes athletes". Milton Keynes Citizen. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  53. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  54. ^ "Greg Rutherford". Diamond League AG. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 

External links[edit]