World Championships: Chris Tomlinson fury after Greg Rutherford falls short in Moscow

Shunned long-jump rival erupts on Twitter as Olympic champion fails to reach final

Moscow

It was a storm not so much in a tea cup as in a sandpit. No sooner had Greg Rutherford emerged from the long-jump strip adjacent to the back straight here – down in 14th place in qualifying and out of the 12-man final by 5cm – than Chris Tomlinson, overlooked for the one discretionary place available in the British team in the event, launched into the Olympic champion by the medium of Twitter.

“Words can’t describe my anger,” the spurned Tomlinson tweeted from back home. “Season ruined on media profile & not current athletic form. Thanks for the support from the athletics community.”

The accusation, clearly, was that Rutherford’s media profile as one of the home heroes of London 2012 had been responsible for securing his place – after both men had failed to achieve the A standard of 8.25m that would have secured them a berth in the British team, leaving the selectors to decide between the two.

Tomlinson swiftly deleted the post, replacing it with the following message: “Thanks for the support. Choosing not to tweet (again). Will regret it when my blood pressure settles!! Good luck to all the team. I’ll see u soon.”

Rutherford himself shrugged his shoulders when told about Tomlinson’s tweet after managing only 7.87m in the qualifying round, five weeks after suffering a hamstring tear that threatened to curtail his season. “Ultimately, I’m still British No 1 as it stands,” the Milton Keynes athlete said, “and still jumped further multiple times than him this year. I’ve beaten him every time apart from when I got hurt.

“I think in any event, if you’re looking at somebody better who has failed the championship qualifying distance that year but won more head-to-heads and still has a major title behind them, then it’s a no-brainer. Surely you’d pick anyone, in any event, in the same scenario.

“Chris is obviously going to be upset but there’s nothing I can do about that. We both put ourselves in a not great position by not jumping an A qualifier, so that’s what it comes down to.

Rutherford added: “We had plenty of opportunities and when speaking to Neil Black [the UK Athletics performance director], he gave us a two-week extension so we should have got the job done. It just gave me enough time to get fit after being injured.

“I’m feeling pretty good but just not jumping far enough at the moment. I’m not too concerned about tweets and whatever else.”

Rutherford, however, subsequently took to the Twittersphere himself, posting the following: “Thanks so much for the support. I fully expected to jump far today but it wasn’t to be. UKA and my family and friends have worked so hard getting me to this point. I have no regrets at all. I’ll be back to winning ways soon. Just need some more time.”

He then added the following message: “Oh and to the trolls... Imagine a picture of my bum hole. I’m waving it at you.”

It was not clear whether that addendum was aimed at Tomlinson or any other critics. It is understood that Tomlinson deleted his original message of his own volition but UK Athletics has refused to comment on the matter.

The domestic governing body has had enough Twitter trouble in recent times. When Phillips Idowu withdrew from the European Team Championships in 2011, the now former head coach of UK Athletics, Charles van Commenee, publicly criticised the triple jumper for making the announcement on Twitter, saying: “Twitter is for clowns and attention-seekers with too much time on their hands.” The row between Van Commenee and Idowu rumbled on and dominated the build-up to London 2012.

There is no history of animosity between the 26-year-old Rutherford and Tomlinson, 31. Indeed for a long time there has been a close but healthy rivalry between the pair, who jointly hold the British record, which stands at 8.35m, and they also happen to be former training partners.

They worked together in the elite group of long jumpers and triple jumpers guided by Frank Attoh in north London and there is a possibility that they may do so again.

Having decided to ditch his plan of working with his most recent coach, Dan Pfaff, in Phoenix, Arizona, Rutherford confirmed in the aftermath of his bitter disappointment yesterday that he intends to link up with a new coach in either Loughborough or London this winter. Tomlinson works under the guidance of the American Rana Reider in Loughborough.

Tomlinson’s frustration at missing the selection boat for Moscow was undoubtedly compounded by the fact that his rival had been picked despite having not been able to compete since he suffered his hamstring injury at the Diamond League meeting at the Stade de France in Paris on 6 July. Tomlinson finished second at the meeting and Rutherford fourth.

In their other two head-to-heads this summer, Rutherford came out on top. He also had the superior season’s best, but only just – 8.22m to 8.21m.

News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Life and Style
news

As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”

Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Service Desk Analyst - (Active Directory, Support, London)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, VBA)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition