Rutherford qualifies for Olympic final after nervy qualification

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford left it late to qualify for the long jump final in Rio de Janeiro in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Saturday, 13th August 2016, 2:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:10 pm
Greg Rutherford

Needing to clear 8.15m to automatically qualify, Rutherford watched on as American rival Jeff Henderson cleared the distance with his first jump.

But the reigning champion committed a huge foul jump first time out, 10cm over the board.

And he piled the pressure on with another foul with his second jump, this time just 3cm over but earning him a second red flag.

His third jump was legal but came up short of the automatic qualification mark, but at 7.90m was good enough for 10th place and a spot in tomorrow night’s final.

Chinese Wang Jianan led the way with a jump of 8.24m, with Henderson clearing 8.20m and Uruguay’s Emiliano Lasa rounding out the top three with 8.14m.