Olympic long jump champion Rutherford to retire
Greg Rutherford who won Olympic long jump gold on ‘Super Saturday’ at the 2012 Olympics in London will retire at the end of the season, the Briton announced.
The 31-year-old — who won gold on the same night as compatriots Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah won gold in the heptathlon and the 10,000 meters, and followed three other British golds that day — told The Guardian a persistent pain in his ankle had forced his decision.
Rutherford — the first British man to win Olympic long jump gold since Lynn Davies in 1964 — hopes to have one last championship hurrah in winning a third European crown in Berlin in August before drawing the curtain on his stellar 13-year career.
“As an athlete you often have pain, whether it’s training niggles or serious injuries, but with my ankle it is like having a dull toothache all the time,” he said.
“I just don’t want to be in pain every single day of my life, which is how things currently are. At times I am in so much pain I can’t even sit on the floor and play with my two kids.”
Rutherford, who took bronze in the 2016 Olympics, said he didn’t wish to just carry on for the sake of it trading on his past successes.
“I keep asking myself, what’s more important to me — trying to be a mediocre athlete holding on to past glories or moving on?” he said.
“I’ll be 32 later this year. I don’t want to be the old man on the team who is making up the numbers. I want people to remember me for the good times.”
Rutherford, who also won the 2015 world outdoor title and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold, has seen injuries restrict him more and more and made just three competitive outings last year.
“Whenever I try to sprint or jump I have to take three days off because I am limping so much. In the end it wears you down,” he told the Guardian.