LONG-JUMP star Greg Rutherford is enjoying the perfect start to Olympic year and has just set a new personal best and British record equalling leap of 8.35m.
Competing at the OTC-Pre-Olympic Series II meeting in San Diego, Rutherford – just coming to the end of a six-week warm-weather training camp in California – benefited from a perfect tailwind of 2.0m/s to win the event.
His jump of 8.35m equals the mark set last year in Paris by Great Britain rival Chris Tomlinson.
In recent years the pair have exchanged national bragging rights – Tomlinson setting his first record back in 2002 with 8.27m, then added two centimetres to the record in 2007.
At the 2009 World Championships, Rutherford broke the record by one centimetre with his 8.30m leap in the qualifying round. It lasted two years, with Tomlinson getting back his record last year.
Rutherford, who will return to Milton Keynes this weekend, opened his season two weeks ago at the Mt SAC Relays, leaping 8.05m.
He improved to 8.20m one week later at the first OTC Pre Olympic Series meeting – reaching the qualification A-Standard for London 2012 – and his jump yesterday in San Diego puts him at the top of this year’s world lists.