Sport In Brief: Golden boy Greg Rutherford has to settle for third place


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The Independent Online

Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford finished third in an unpredictable competition in his first Diamond League meeting of the season in Shanghai yesterday.

Chinese youngster Li Jinzhe was the unexpected winner as he leapt out to a world-leading 8.34 metres, three centimetres further than Rutherford's gold-medal winning jump in London. Li, 23, who was only 20th in qualifying last summer, edged out Russia's European indoor champion Aleksandr Menkov (8.31m), with Rutherford managing a best of 8.08m. The Briton did beat the silver and bronze medallists from last summer, though, with Australian Mitchell Watt (7.58m) and American Will Claye (7.56m) second last and last respectively. Dwight Phillips, the world champion, finished 10th with 7.62m.

Rutherford competed in his Milton Keynes Athletic Club vest and explained on Twitter: "MKAC have shown more support for me than almost every other sponsor. Most walked away post-Games. They stood behind me. So I wore the vest." His compatriots Chris Tomlinson (7.66m) and JJ Jegede (7.58m) finished ninth and 11th. In the high jump, Britain's Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz was fifth, but did equal his season's best of 2.24m.

Golf: McDowell through to semis

Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell made it through to today's semi-finals of the World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria by defeating Nicolas Colsaerts 2&1 yesterday, avenging his loss to the Belgian in the final of the event last year. Colsaerts was already trailing when his drive at the 10th hole found a hazard after flying over an on-course toilet. To adhere to the rules he had to first drop his ball on the toilet floor before he was eventually given "relief" from the immovable obstruction and he spared his blushes by pitching the ball on to the green and holing out from 15 feet for a par four. "I was laughing because I was going to look like a clown," Colsaerts said. "I'm sure it's going to make the news – some Belgian dude finding a toilet." McDowell said of his Ryder Cup team-mate: "I was looking like going four up on the 10th and Nicolas literally made par from the toilet. That's when the rules of golf get a bit funny and wacky and people watching will be wondering what's going on, but what a four he made." McDowell will take on Branden Grace, who beat England's Chris Wood 2&1, in this morning's semi-final. The final of the event takes place this afternoon.

Motorcycling: Marquez on pole in France

Spain's Marc Marquez took the second pole position of his MotoGP career ahead of today's French Grand Prix. Marquez beat current champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) by three-hundredths of a second with his time of 1min 33.187sec on his Honda. The 20-year-old was another 0.416sec clear of Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, while Spanish GP winner Dani Pedrosa took sixth place on the grid after falling on turn three.