Greg Rutherford has won the World Championship to complete the grand slam of long jump medals.
Rutherford’s fourth round jump of 8.41m surpassed anything his rivals could muster in the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing to win the gold medal.
It completes the set for the man from Woburn Sands, adding to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth golds as he joins British athletes Linford Christie, Daley Thompson, Sally Gunnell and Jonathan Edwards in grand slam holders.
“I’m lost for words, what an incredible night,” he said. “Thanks to all my coaches and my family and friends. They have been unreal for me in the last year, and have even helped my build a sandpit in my garden!
“I can’t even explain to you how stressful it has been, it has been really tough. But to do that, I’m over the moon.
“My coach Dan told me to stop fouling on massive jumps, just get one on the board, and I did that. I’ve jumped longer than I have in any major competition, a season’s best, my second longest jump ever - maybe that’ll satisfy a few people now!”
Rutherford was a member of ‘Super Saturday’ at the London Olympics back in 2012, winning gold with Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis. And Rutherford’s gold in Beijing means the trio will all return to the UK as World Champions too.
Rutherford added: “I’m really happy for Jess and Mo. Everybody was putting medals around their necks, and the pressure they have to face is intense. For Jess to come back a year after having a baby, and for Mo to deal with the rubbish thrown his way recently, it’s amazing.”
The win puts to bed a ghost which has haunted Rutherford since 2008, when he made his disappointing Olympic debut.
“Seven years ago, I wasn’t ready to be here in this stadium,” he said. “But to come back and know I’m more prepared, I just cannot believe it.”
“But I’ve done it at the fifth time of asking. I’ve finally won the World Championship!”