Greg Rutherford receives MBE from the Queen

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OLYMPIC long jump champion Greg Rutherford was honoured by the Queen at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

The London 2012 hero from Bletchley received an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for winning gold on August 4 – the day remembered as ‘Super Saturday’ for Team GB’s success in the Olympic Stadium.

The 26-year-old said: “You dream of doing well at an Olympics, especially a home Olympics, and then the things that come along after that are just absolutely out of this world.

“I don’t think, truly, you can imagine these sorts of things happening, and being awarded by the Queen, it really is just extraordinary.”

Rutherford was catapulted into the public limelight when he jumped 8.31m to win the long jump title last summer, fulfilling a lifetime’s dream on a night when Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah also claimed gold.

Having just returned to the UK from warm-weather training in the USA, he said: “It’s not every day you get to do something like this and meet the Queen. The heart’s racing a bit.

“I’ve had an incredible time with my family. The Queen was amazing!”