Greg Rutherford MBE is the current Olympic Long Jump Champion and the joint British Record Holder.
Born and bred in Milton Keynes, Greg first jumped into the limelight aged 18 when he won the senior long jump title at the AAA Championships. He went on to win Gold at the European Junior Championships with a jump of 8.14m and in 2006 he secured a silver medal at the European Championships with a jump of 8.13m.
Greg’s 2007 season was brought to a standstill due to a re-occurring problem affecting his tonsils and also a string of hamstring tears, it became a season he would prefer to forget. Even though this prevented the continuation in his well documented jumps he maintained a positive outlook. “Hamstring tears have been a part of my career ever since I became a professional athlete. It is just about learning to manage the knocks and get on with what you need to do.” It was this mature approach to his setback that allowed for him to bounce back to good form in 2008, winning the AAA Championships and securing his place in Team GB for the Beijing Olympics. Despite still being on the road to recovery, at the age of just 21 Greg jumped his way to the Olympic Final. He was third best qualifier with an 8.16m jump, but finished 10th in the final with a 7.84m jump.
At the 2009 World Championships Greg Rutherford set the UK record for the long jump with a personal best of 8.30m in Berlin. In 2010 at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, he jumped his way to the podium, picking up a silver medal with a back-to-form jump of 8.22m.
2011 was another great year for Greg jumping the season’s best of 8.32m wining the Samsung Diamond League meet in Eugene, USA. It was then onwards and upwards to the World Championships in Daegu, however despite entering the Championships in fine form, a devastating hamstring tear on Greg’s second jump in the qualifying competition put an end to his hopes of medal success.
In May 2012, Greg equalled the British record of 8.35m in Chula Vista, California, and followed that by jumping 8.32m to win the Rome Diamond League meeting later that month.
Greg Rutherford entered the London 2012 Olympics as the number 1 ranked long jumper in the world and he didn’t fail to deliver, jumping 17cm further than his opponents.
In front of an 80,000-strong crowd, Greg Rutherford jumped 8.31m to take Olympic Gold. It was the first time since 1964 that GB had won the long jump. Having led the competition, Greg improved throughout and marked his place in history on Super Saturday – Great Britain’s most successful day at the Olympic Games in 104 years.