Over the years, I have been fortunate to interview Greg Rutherford several times. I got to enjoy his sense of humor, and at the British meets, the pre event pressers could be classic. One of my all time favorites was Greg Rutherford, Valerie Adams and Mo Farah at a British athletics presser.
Mr. Rutherford can be charming and he is. He also knows his event, and I admire that. Greg Rutherford was the Rodney Dangerfield of the LJ, in that, I do not believe that the man had been given the global respect he deserves. Truth is, Greg Rutherforld, for thirteen years, has delivered in the big stadiums of the world, with big fields, and tough LJ fields.
Greg Rutherford, Pre Classic 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net
Greg Rutherford won the 2006 European Championships in Goteborg, Sweden. It took four years before he won a major championships again, in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in New Delhi, India.
Success in athletics is not a linear situation. Good years, tough years, Greg Rutherford has seen all of those in his career.
But, it came in 2012, in London, on that glorious Saturday night, August 3, when Jessica Ennis Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford all took gold. Greg was not a surprise, but he was not the favorite. But here’s the simple truth: Greg Rutherford put it all together, in front of 80,000 of his closest friends and a ferocious field. Greg delivered. In 2013, Greg came back to earth and had a 14th place in the Moscow World Outdoors. He was not a happy camper. Figure it out, when you are a fine athlete, and you set standards for yourself, when you do not reach those goals, you analyze.
Greg Rutherford, 2012 London Olympics, photo by PhotoRun.net
In 2014, Greg took gold in Commonwealth Games, European Outdoor Games. In 2015, Greg Rutherford took the gold in Beijing World Championships.
Greg Rutherford, Gold Medal LJ, Beijing 2015, with WR holder Mike Powell, photo by PhotoRun.net
Think about it, gold medals in the global jump battles for two years, then, in 2016, another gold in European Outdoors, and a bronze in the Olympic Games.
2017 was a year of injuries, some quite painful. His 2018 is starting with a strong fitness level. Here’s an interview from Athletics Weekly from late January.
Greg Rutherford eyes his place in the history books…
Preparing for a return to action after injury, the long jump star targets indoor success before he aims for a European hat-trick. INTERVIEW âž¡ï¸ https://t.co/KvxF7nj7Kz pic.twitter.com/H9s1qei7Lk
— Athletics Weekly (@AthleticsWeekly) February 1, 2018
The long jump is one of the toughest events to train for in our sport. Rutherford gets it. He also likes the world he lives in, and has a wonderful long jump runway in his back yard (even put on a meeting there, on my bucket list), and a wonderful family. With a 60m pb of 6.68, 100 meters in 10.26, and an outdoor British record of 8.51 meters, an indoor British record of 8.26 meters, Greg Rutherford has the speed, the focus, and the competition skill set to medal in Birmingham. The guy is a global champion.
So, we all have to wait for a week, as Greg competes at the British Trials, February 16-17, 2018 and the Muller Glasgow Games on February 25, 2018. We look forward to seeing your fine British Long Jumper in Birmingham for the World Champs. How will Greg Rutherford do? Well, you will just have to wait. But, if he’s there, and he’s ready, we shall see a big show in the Long Jump!