Greg Rutherford back on track with long jump victory at the British Indoor Championships

Rutherford's first-round effort of 7.80 metres at Arena Birmingham was enough to get his comeback off to a winning start

Phil Casey
Saturday 17 February 2018 16:28
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Greg Rutherford in action at Arena Birmingham
Greg Rutherford in action at Arena Birmingham

Former Olympic champion Greg Rutherford put his injury nightmare firmly behind him with victory in the long jump in the SPAR British Indoor Championships.

Rutherford's first-round effort of 7.80 metres at Arena Birmingham was enough to get his comeback off to a winning start and keep him on track for the World Indoors at the same venue next month.

The 31-year-old does not have the qualifying standard of 8.19m but, as the host nation, Britain are permitted to enter one athlete in an event where there is not otherwise any representation.

Rutherford competed just three times in 2017 and missed out on the chance to defend his World Championship title in London after undergoing groin and ankle operations.

But after returning from a recent training camp in Dubai he will have been pleased to complete six jumps in his first competition since June, with 7.75m in the third round his next best effort.

A relieved Rutherford said: "It feels like it has been years and years since I competed. I am exhausted now, that's the overriding thing. I think it is the stress of having no idea what shape I am in.

"I only started walking again in mid-November. It has been a very quick turnaround since the two surgeries. I'm chuffed to bits to do the six jumps and come through it.

"I was terrified to begin with but I was so happy to get that first jump in. I only put spikes in one month ago so it means a lot to do all six rounds."

Rutherford is due to compete in next weekend's Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow and will then decide whether to contest the World Indoors.

PA

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