Athletics

Greg Rutherford responds to criticism

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Rutherford to switch summer for winter? (©GettyImages)
Rutherford to switch summer for winter? (©GettyImages).

Greg Rutherford has responded to criticism from around the athletics world by defending his new British Record long jump of 8.51m.

The Olympic gold medal winning athlete has been under the spotlight in recent times following his record breaking jump in San Diego where many people believe the conditions were not up to scratch.

Particularly vocal in questioning the validity of the jump was fellow Team GB long jumper and rival Chris Tomlinson who said, "It's a jump that's clearly a large foul at a competition which isn't a World Championships or an Olympics.

"It's a very small competition as all can see."

Despite the question marks about whether the record should stand, the USA track and field association stated that all official requirements were met at the meeting and declared that there is no reason for the record to be chalked off.

In response to the criticism, Greg Rutherford has now had his say on the matter, speaking to BBC Sport about whether the record should stand, he said, "Absolutely, yes.

"All I can do is turn up and compete and if other people have problems with my competitions then there's nothing I can do.

"I just keep quiet, keep my head down, train hard and hopefully jump far."

As well as clinching the new British Record with an enormous jump in San Diego last week, Greg Rutherford has announced that he will soon become a father for the first time.

Although that's not the only announcement that the long jumper has made.

"I think it would be pretty special if I could manage to win two Olympic gold medals but one of which being in a completely different sport." Rutherford told BBC Sport.

He was discussing a possible switch to the Skeleton discipline having been inspired by the recent success of Lizzy Yarnold's Winter Olympic gold.

If the change in disciplines for Rutherford does occur then for the foreseeable future at least, his focus remains on competing for more honours in athletics.

He said, "Whether or not I'll be able to cope with going head first down an ice track at about 85mph I'm not quite sure yet."

With many challenges faced in just a short space of time ranging from dealing with competitive rivals through to parenthood, Rutherford certainly has had his hands full.

The next challenge for the Olympic champion though is the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 23 and hoping to improve on his silver medal four years ago.

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