After being forced to sit out the chance to defend his world long jump title, London 2012 gold medallist Greg Rutherford has a newfound focus for his 2018 season.
An ankle ligament injury and hernia of the groin left Rutherford devastated at having to miss another chance to compete in the London Stadium – the scene of his famous Olympic triumph.
Instead he watched on from the mixed zone as a summariser and interviewer for Eurosport, working with fellow former Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards.
Now though, back at home and with his mind turning to 2018, a new challenge has appeared.
“It was frustrating probably for the first two days, once the long jump was over though I completely fell into this whole role of talking about the sport and trying to give some form of opinion that was useful,” he said of his new role in front of the camera.
“But obviously I would have given anything to have been in that long jump competition because it was a great competition and one I think I would have absolutely thrived off.
“Fortunately I still managed to be involved and had the level of understanding of the event that I wouldn’t have had if I was just at home.
“I’m now focussed on getting fit and healthy again and having a very good year next year, and seeing what the future holds.
“I’ve got surgery in about two weeks’ time, that will hopefully repair the hole in my groin – which is the hernia I’ve got.
“From there I start the rehab process again, and the aim is to be ready for the indoor season next year.”
Already a gold medallist at all the major outdoor events in which he can compete, Rutherford is targeting a triple in 2018 – of more than one variety.
With the World Indoor Championships being held in Birmingham in March, and the Commonwealth Games following a month after before the European Championships in the summer, Rutherford has three significant targets in the next 12 months.
“I’m hoping that I’ll be fit and healthy and have a really good run at the three majors that there are next year,” added the 30-year-old, who took on the role of tail walker for last Saturday’s parkrun event in Milton Keynes as part of UK Sport’s #teamparkrun initiative to allow elite athletes to say thank you to the public for their support.
“If I end up winning the Europeans again I think I’ll set a record of three on the trot, which a long jumper hasn’t done before.
“So I’m excited by the prospect of next year and really focussed on that going well.”
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