OLYMPIC champion Greg Rutherford has confirmed he will return to competitive action this weekend – and insists he still has bigger jumps left in him this season.
A leap of 8.31m won Rutherford gold in London, but that was just his third biggest jump of the year, and four centimetres off his personal best of 8.35m.
Now as he prepares for his next outing at the AVIVA British Grand Prix Samsung Diamond League meet in Birmingham on Sunday afternoon, the 25-year-old says he wants to jump another 30-40 centimetres in 2012 and next season.
“Technically I’m improving every day, and once I get the timing and everything else right, I think I’ll jump an extra 30-40 centimetres further than what I did to win gold in London,” said Rutherford
“I’m giving that away with every single jump I take, so for me that’s coming, and it’s just going to take a bit of time to get it together and get it sorted.”
With the weather forecast for Sunday looking unfavourable for big jumps, that new personal best is unlikely to come at the Alexandra Stadium, but Rutherford still has plenty more big competitions to come in Europe before his season is out.
However, it’s in Birmingham that he and his fellow British medal winners will receive the best ovation from the home crowd, and Rutherford says it’s just good to have a lot of interest in his event again.
“This is what I’ve always wanted,” said Rutherford. “I want people to be excited about the long jump – it’s something that I’ve always loved and been excited about.
“When Jonathan Edwards was doing well in the triple jump, everyone loved the triple jump and hopefully now we can have a bit of that in the long.”