Greg Rutherford in the long jump at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham (© Getty Images)
Olympic and Commonwealth long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford is the latest big name to confirm that he will compete in the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, on 24 August.
Rutherford added the Commonwealth Games title to his London 2012 Olympic Games crown after jumping 8.20m in the fourth round in Glasgow on Wednesday and will now return to the Alexander Stadium for the second of two IAAF Diamond League meetings in the UK this year.
“I can’t wait to compete at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix. It’s going to be a fantastic crowd and the great thing about having any Diamond League events in the UK is the fans that flock to them and get behind the athletes,” said Rutherford.
“Hopefully we can continue some of the excitement that the Commonwealth Games has brought to the UK and mixing that with a little bit of Olympic spirit it’s going to be another great occasion. You always compete against the world’s best and that’s what’s so good about it. You know you have to be on top of your game and jump far.”
Prior to the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix, Rutherford has his sights set on winning the double, by claiming gold at the European Championships in Zurich.
Despite admitting that he will have a target on his back, the jumper from Milton Keynes is thriving on the pressure that has come of his biggest two triumphs in his career.
“I think we’ll see what happens at the European Championships because ultimately if I go out there and win there as well, everybody will be gunning for me.
“I like that, because if that’s what’s happening, that means I’m doing something right and doing well in my career. I want to be the guy that people want to beat and I want to continue winning.
“For me it’s part and parcel of doing well and I go into Birmingham hopefully post-Zurich with the European and Commonwealth titles.”
Rutherford’s triumph on Wednesday came with the ‘Hampden Roar’ firmly behind him and he was glad to prove he isn’t just a flash in the pan after upgrading on the silver medal he won in Delhi four years ago.
"It's never an easy road and, after what happened last year with injury, I wasn't sure if I could carry on jumping. Now I've managed to come away with another title.
“I think a few people had written me off thinking I was a one-hit wonder, but I'm here again and will be here again many more times. I'm super happy. I want to keep going out, there jumping far and winning medals,” added Rutherford.
Organisers for the IAAF
2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep