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Greg Rutherford: Olympic long jumper to retire at end of season

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Rutherford secures golden grand slam

Greg Rutherford, who won long jump gold at the London 2012 Olympics, will retire at the end of the season.

Rutherford, 31, went on to claim bronze at the Rio Games in 2016, but he has struggled with injury in recent years.

He hopes to compete at the European Championships in Berlin in August before ending his 13-year career.

“Whenever I try to sprint or jump I have to take three days off because I am limping so much. In the end it wears you down,” he told the Guardian.

“I still feel I am fast. I still feel as if I am super strong.”

Rutherford also plans to appear at the London Anniversary Games, which run from 21-22 July, and the Birmingham Diamond League in August.

Speaking on Tuesday, Rutherford said he was in pain “every single day” due to a continued problem with his left ankle.

Rutherford claimed his Olympic gold medal on Super Saturday in London, becoming the first British man to win long jump gold since Lynn Davies in 1964.

He finished in third place four years later in Rio with a final leap of 8.29m.

Rutherford previously told BBC Radio 5 live in October that he would “jump ship” if his body was “telling me I can’t do it any more”.

“I don’t just want to be that guy who was once good at the sport and is now just there, and all these guys are laughing at you because you’re just the old man that’s part of the team,” he said.

‘Ready to hang the spikes up for good’

Greg Rutherford won long jump gold at London 2012 and then won bronze four years later in Rio

The Briton is also a two-time Commonwealth Games medallist, having claimed silver in 2010 and gold in Glasgow in 2014.

He also took gold at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, and in the European Championships a year later.

However, he was unable to defend his world title last year after groin and ankle operations, and was forced to withdraw from England’s Commonwealth Games squad in January.

In a post on Instagram, Rutherford added: “I’ve achieved so much but retirement comes early to those of us for whom sport is a livelihood.

“It only feels like yesterday I was winning my first major medal but now 12 years on, I sit here as the greatest long jumper Great Britain has ever had, one of the most successful in European history and someone ready to hang the spikes up for good.

“It’d be so great to finish with some roaring crowds.”

 

Ref:  BBC News

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