Greg Rutherford, photo by PhotoRun.net
Greg Rutherford has had some vicious things written about him. One of the best ways to deal with uncivilized social media and worse is to own it. Mr. Rutherford has done that, holding his chin up. One social media rocket scientist called Mr. Rutherford, “a fluke”. Well, I am not sure that Webster’s Dictionary notes “a fluke” as someone who has won Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World Champs gold medals, holding all at the same time.
Greg Rutherford takes it all in stride. His 8.41 meter jump and 8.29 meter jump was the best in the field last night.
So much for that fluke thing.
Here is Alex Mills’ review of the night four’s action.
It was a night all about the point provers at the Bird’s Nest stadium, Beijing as world leaders, record holders and championship winners all came good in the famous Chinese arena.
Though the significance of their victories could not have been more different, the value of the gold medals to Greg Rutherford, David Rudisha, Genzebe Dibaba, Denia Caballero and Nicholas Bett is almost totally the same.
Olympic champions Rutherford and Rudisha claimed historic gold medals to prove their doubters wrong and distinguish any remaining questions about their major championship capabilities post 2012, while Genzebe Dibaba and Denia Caballero backed up their awesome pre-championship form with a first world championship gold medal.
While Rudisha and company were busy stealing the track limelight, Rutherford was tearing up the runway as he won long jump gold at a canter to become only the 5th British athlete to complete the major championship grand slam. He now holds the Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth titles all at the same time.
Having already put himself in pole position to win after a second round 8.29m, Rutherford saw his biggest challenger world number one Jeff Henderson drop out of the competition after his best leap of 7.95m only good enough for 9th place after three rounds.
As his remaining rivals continued in vain to try and dislodge him Rutherford then leapt out to 8.41m the second furthest jump of his career, and his best ever performance at a major championship to put himself almost certainly out of reach of his rivals. Confident of his victory he then elected to pass on his remaining two jumps, a decision was ultimately vindicated. Fabric Lapierre took silver with a final round leap of 8.24m as China’s Jianan Wang claimed bronze in 8.18m.
Talking afterwards about his victory Rutherford spoke of his happiness and relief having received a lot of unfair criticism since winning his Olympic gold three years ago: “I’m a world champion so I’m pretty happy, it’s relief as well as some of you guys (the British press) have written things about me in the past, other people have said nasty things. I’ve finally come out and backed up myself up with another world medal” He said. “So I’m Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion now. I’m hoping that’s enough for people to accept that i’m a half decent British athlete.”he joked.
On the failure of his biggest rival Henderson, he added: “The other guys did me a bit of a favour to be honest, you can’t take anything away from Jeff Henderson, he’s one of the best jumpers in the world at the moment; he’s jumped over 8.50m three times and I knew if he could get on it was going to be tough for me tonight but I also knew I had some decent distances in me.”
Having missed the 2013 world championships due to injury and subsequently struggled to get to his very best, many had questioned whether Rudisha would ever return to the top of the event again, but he finally found the speed he had a been missing all season to win his second world 800m title.
Despite front running his way to a global title once more, this was a very different performance to what we’ve come to expect from the Kenyan. After leading the pack out in a steady 54.17 seconds, Rudisha increased the pace at the 300, continuing to bide his time, he made his decisive move with 150m to go, pulling away from his rivals and not looking back, prevailing in 1:45.84 followed by Poland’s Adam Kszczot and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Amel Tuka.
“I am delighted about this gold medal. It means a lot to me. Especially after all these disappointments I had this year. During last month, I had a problem with my speed, but when I solved it and got my speed back I knew that no matter if the pace in this final will be slow or fast, I can win.” he said.
Though Rudisha’s finish was impressive ,Dibaba’s was undoubtably the best of the night, as she closed the 1500m with a crazy 1:57.2 to win her first world outdoor title and set herself up to claim the first ever 1500m and 5000m double.
Having stuck with the pack as they went through 700m in a lacklustre 2:10, the Ethiopian made her move with 800m to go. Though the likes of European champion Siffan Hassan, Dewit Sayum and Faith Kipyegon stuck with her as they covered the penultimate lap in 57.4, their suffrage began to tell in the close stages as one by one they dropped off, leaving Dibaba to collect gold in 4:08.09.
Like Dibaba, Cabellero came into Beijing with big expectations as the world leader and the Pan Am Games champion and will now leave China as the world discus champion having defeated Sandra Perkovic for the first time.
Having become only the second athlete to throw over 70 metres this century, the Cuban made history by winning her country’s first discus gold in style as she produced 69.28m in the first round, the longest throw at a world championship since 1991. It was a throw that not even Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic could match.
Their was a also a world first in the 400mh, as the Kenyan Bett romped home to victory in a national record WL leading time of 47.79 seconds to become the first athlete from the famous distance running nation ever to win a gold medal in anything under 800m, despite being in out in lane nine.
Russia’s Denis Kudryavtsev and Bahamas Jeffery Gibson also improved their country’s best ever times as they won silver and bronze.
Leave a Reply