• Great City Games

Rutherford shrugs off record furore with win

ESPN staff
May 17, 2014
Greg Rutherford jumped 8.02 metres in Manchester © Getty Images

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford shrugged off the furore surrounding his British record by winning the men's long jump at the Great City Games in Manchester, beating his rival Chris Tomlinson into third place.

The pair have been at loggerheads in recent weeks, after Rutherford jumped 8.51 metres in San Diego last month to break Tomlinson's best only for his compatriot to say the London 2012 gold medallist's jump was "clearly a foul".

There is now a process to officially verify the jump as the national record, but Rutherford conquered his nerves to keep up his winning ways in Manchester with a best leap of 8.02 metres while Tomlinson could only manage 7.77m.

"I got more nervous today than I think I've been for competitions for a long time," Rutherford said. "I don't know if that's because I wanted to prove things wrong but I was very, very nervous. I managed to control it. The jumps were relatively safe and I was worried going into the last one it wasn't going to be eight metres but I did it.

"I definitely wasn't jumping technically well. I wasn't as fast and aggressive on the board as I have been in recent weeks but to come out and win is always a nice thing in an event like this. I put a few things to bed and don't think there were any issues where my foot was on the board - I was very, very safe."

Tomlinson played down the notion of a feud between the pair, however. He said: "It's amusing everyone would like to make a bit of edge to it, a bit of rivalry. And that's great. I want to beat Greg Rutherford and he wants to beat me.

"But we get on well. We used to train together and we shared rooms. It's just the way it is. People like a bit of controversy and I'm not dumb enough not to realise that can be good for the event."

Elsewhere, double Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake took victory in the men's 150m but failed to beat Usain Bolt's world record.

Blake returned from injury to finish in 14.71 seconds, ahead of fellow Jamaican Kemar Bailey Cole (15.00s) but some distance short of bettering Bolt's record of 14.35s set in 2009.

"It wasn't a good day but to have an injury-free race is good," Blake, who missed most of last season with a hamstring injury, told BBC Sport.

"I didn't get to warm up properly but I won't use that as an excuse."

World 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu took third place in the women's 200m with a time of 24.06s, as Britain's Shana Cox claimed victory in 23.28s.

Britain's World 60m indoor champion Richard Kilty (10.19s) came in third in the men's 100m, behind winner Femi Ogunode (10.10s) of Qatar and Chijindu Ujah (10.14s).

"I only arrived from the States yesterday [Friday] and I felt a little jet-lagged," said Kilty.

"Today was more about enjoying the competition and putting on a good show for the crowd, rather than running a fast time."

Andy Turner (22.58s) won the men's 200m hurdles, while Meghan Beesley dipped home ahead of fellow Brit Eilidh Child (25.84s) in the women's event.

Tiffany Porter won the women's 100m hurdles in 12.66s, with Lawrence Clarke (13.51s) pipping Turner to take the men's 110m hurdles by four hundredths of a second.

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