GREG Rutherford said he was annoyed with his first performance since winning Olympic gold as he finished third in the long jump at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham on Sunday.
With a best of 7.88m, Rutherford was beaten by Aleksandr Menkov of Russia, who won the event with a distance of 8.18m, and American Christian Taylor. The 25-year-old jumped 8.31m to win the Olympic title.
But despite the fact that – by his own admission – he had hardly trained since his London 2012 success three weeks earlier, Rutherford said he was annoyed and disappointed by his display at the Alexander Stadium. And his efforts weren’t helped by a slight groin strain which saw him sit out two of his jumps.
”I felt good going into the jump, until I got into the pit after my first jump when I felt a bit of a twinge in my groin and maybe I was a bit silly to carry on,” he said.
“I thrive off the thought of people gunning for me, I came here feeling good, albeit a bit lethargic following the events of the last few weeks. But I’m a professional athlete, I should be able to come out here and perform. I feel like I let a few people down today.”
Rutherford admitted after the event that he is “starting to feel a few aches and pains” and had to sit out a couple of jumps to receive some treatment.
He also said it was perhaps a bad idea to carry on afterwards, but was determined to try and put on a show in front of another home crowd who gave him a fantastic reception.
“The crowd were fantastic and it’s a bit of a shame that I couldn’t perform better than I did,” he said. “I felt as if there was something there today, and it’s a bit annoying. Really, really annoying.
“But it was a great competition. Menkov had a good jump early on and put the pressure on the field. It was just nice to be out there with some good home support.”
Rutherford now sits third in the overall Diamond League long jump standings behind Menkov and Australian Mitchell Watt with one more round to go in Brussels on September 7.