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.
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3: Mario Balotelli and Gary Lineker lead the trolling of United
Police probe Mario Balotelli racist abuse as Kick It Out voice their displeasure
Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
Manchester City vs Chelsea match report: Frank Lampard shows no joy after denying Chelsea victory
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God