• Athletics

Rutherford wants Van Commenee to stay

ESPN staff
August 25, 2012
Greg Rutherford won long jump gold at London 2012 © Getty Images

Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has urged Charles van Commenee to stay on as head coach of UK Athletics.

Van Commenee's future remains unclear after he said he would take time to reflect on his position after Team GB failed to meet the track and field medal target he set before the Games.

However Rutherford, who returns to competition at Sunday's Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, feels Van Commenee is his own biggest critic.

"I understand where he's coming from but we still walked away with six medals, four of them gold," Rutherford said. "I think Charles is very hard on himself.

"For a lot of people it did work - Jess [Ennis], Mo [Farah], Robbie [Grabarz], Christine [Ohuruogu] and myself - and I think he should take a lot of credit for that.

"If it continues the way it's going we could see many more medals at the next Olympics and I think we need someone like Charles at the helm."

Rutherford revealed he spoke with Van Commenee during the Games and made it clear he wanted the Dutchman to stay.

"I had a couple of conversations after I'd competed [at the Olympics] and said I wanted him to stay," he added. "I'm hoping that he takes that on board and he understands 99% of the team really likes him and thinks he's done a fantastic job."

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