Commonwealth Games 2014: Rutherford follows in family footsteps at Hampden

 

Athletics correspondent

There is no longer anyone alive in Glasgow who remembers the day in 1908 when England’s football team played Scotland in front of 121,452 crammed into Hampden Park. It was then a world-record attendance for a sporting event.

On the wing for England in that 1-1 draw was Jock Rutherford, whose great grandson Greg performs in the same stadium, though in front of a smaller crowd, in today’s men’s long-jump qualifying.

The British record holder, with a mark of 8.51 metres set in April, is favourite to add to his Olympic title of two years ago and, in the absence of Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill, is Britain’s sole Olympic champion inside the stadium.

The record sparked a furore when rival Chris Tomlinson questioned its validity. It was later ratified, although Rutherford joked yesterday that should he land another British record in Glasgow, “I’d get it remeasured!

 

“That [another record] would be very nice, that’s the aim. My great granddad played here for England and they set a world record for the biggest crowd in history at that time so, if that is a good omen, that would be nice.

“I would love to go and jump something massive again and win, it would be a really special occasion. But I’ll be honest, if I jump 7.90m and win, I’ll take that. Jumping far will come at  some place, but when you go to championships, you just want to win.”

As is always the case with Rutherford when he takes to the long-jump runway, there is the uncertainty of how his body will hold together.

He pulled out of the Glasgow Grand Prix earlier this month after complaining of nerve trouble behind his knee in the warm-up but insists he is now fully fit.

“Nobody from the Commonwealth has beaten me this year,” he said. “I want to keep that trend going.”

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