OLYMPIC champion Greg Rutherford brought the curtain down on his remarkable 2012 athletics season with a second place finish at the Great North City Games in Newcastle on Saturday.
The long jump gold medallist recorded a best distance of 7.89m when the best of British took on the USA in front of hundreds of fans on the Newcastle-Gateshead quayside, with national rival Chris Tomlinson leaping 8.18m to win.
Rutherford picked up a groin injury at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting last month and has struggled to reach full fitness since then, but what determined to try and end the season on a high.
“The injury has been a bit of a nightmare,” he said. “But I came here because I was team captain and I wanted to get behind everybody.
“I was so happy to see that Chris was in good shape and he got the win for us. It was about points so I wasn’t too concerned about my own performance. I tried to do as well as I could.”
The USA won the match overall by six points to three, but after a season that saw him win Olympic gold, equal the British record and set a new personal best with a jump of 8.35m, and become a household name in the UK, Rutherford can look back at 2012 as comfortably the best year of his career to date.