Athletics

Greg Rutherford feeling the pressure ahead of £1m Sport Relief challenge

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Will Rutherford be able to hold all three balls? (©GettyImages)
Will Rutherford be able to hold all three balls? (©GettyImages).

Greg Rutherford admits that he is feeling the pressure ahead of Saturday's 'catch-a-million' challenge for Sport Relief at Wembley.

The Olympic gold medal winning long-jumper is not feeling confident about catching and holding on to three rugby balls all at once, and acknowledges that the event is unlike anything he has attempted before.

"I think I will be more nervous for something like this (than doing the long jump). This is completely out of my comfort zone. I don’t train for this, whereas if I go into a competition, I’ve trained a lot and I know what to expect," he told GiveMeSport pitch-side at Wembley.

"The pressure is on! If I don’t catch all three then I’m going to be very upset. I’m competitive. I have to go for the million - it's such a big difference from £10,000 to a million. I have to go all out and give it my best."

If Rutherford catches one ball at half-time during the Saracens-Harlequins clash on Saturday, he wins £1,000. If he catches a second, whilst keeping hold of the first, then he will win £10,000. And, if he somehow managed to reel in the third and keeps hold of all of them, then he wins £1million for Sport Relief.

Rutherford is used to competing in front of vast audiences, but he is still fearing his half-time appearance at Wembley during the interval of the Aviva Premiership clash between the capital giants. He is hoping that the charity-factor will guarantee support, and he has famously done well with some strong backing in the past. 

"Its going to be a sell-out, they thing, which makes it even worse! The idea of having 80,000 people, plus thousands watching live on BT Sport as I attempt to catch three rugby balls which are going to be shot very high up into the air, is daunting," he added.

"I’m assuming that as it is for charity then people will be wanting me to do well. But, the more I think about it and the more I talk about it (the task), the worse it gets.

"I'm not allowed to practice, and don't even have any balls - no pun intended."

Rutherford has certainly got a bit of something to take on the challenge, and despite his doubts, just catching one ball will raise some money for charity. Should he manage more than that from the 'up-and-unders', then the people at Sport Relief will be indebted to the long-jumper.

Greg Rutherford takes on the Catch-a-Million challenge for Sport Relief at half time during Saracens v Harlequins at Wembley on March 22nd. The match kicks off at 3:15pm and is exclusively live on BT Sport 1.

Topics:
Olympics
Athletics
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