Unheralded Rutherford is still jumping for joy
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Monday 06 August 2012
The morning after the last Olympic long jump final, Greg Rutherford woke up in a Beijing hospital suffering from exhaustion and multiple infections.
What a difference four years makes. Yesterday, the 25-year-old from Milton Keynes, who this time around had not even bothered going to bed, was luxuriating in the first British gold medal in the long jump for 48 years. Although Rutherford entered the event with the longest jump of the year, his Olympic crown was the least expected of the three golds secured by Britain in that magical 45 minutes on Saturday night.
The jumper has battled repeated injury and dips in form ever since he arrived on the world stage with a silver medal in the European Championships in 2006. He finished tenth in Beijing and crashed out of last year's world championships. Speaking before his medal ceremony yesterday, Rutherford said: "It has been a tough, tough path. I always said that I was in it to win gold in the major competitions. It still hasn't sunk in.
"I spent most of the night, when I did manage to get home, just staring at the ceiling and trying to take in what had just happened and I still haven't."
Rutherford's winning leap of 8.31m was the product of a remodelled run up in the long jump for the athlete perfected under the tutelage of American super-coach Dan Pfaff, who encouraged the Briton to emulate the style of Olympic legend Carl Lewis.
Rutherford said: "This is just the start for me." In the meantime, the mayor of Milton Keynes was considering bestowing an honour on its most famous son that would be particularly fitting for the Buckinghamshire town – naming a roundabout after him.
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 4 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head