Greg Rutherford lost his Olympic title but a still won a bronze medal in an enthralling long jump final in Rio on Saturday night.
In a four-way battle for the title, American Jeff Henderson took gold with a mighty 8.38m ahead of South African Luva Manyonga (8.37m) and Rutherford (8.29m) in third.
After a shaky qualification on Friday, Rutherford’s final jump pitched him into medal contention, but a mistake from American Jarrion Lawson in the last round gave the 2012 champion the bronze.
The 29-year-old needed three jumps to qualify for the final on Friday, but began the night with a solid opener, clearing 8.18m in the first round.
Failing to improve in round 2 (8.11m), he then flew into the lead with a distance of 8.22m. However, he wouldn’t finish the round in the lead as American Jarrion Lawson jumped 8.25m.
The pair though would be blown into the weeds when South African Manyonga jumped a brilliant 8.28m in the fourth round to take the lead.
While Rutherford fouled his fourth jump and failed to improve with his fifth, Manyonga extended his lead with an incredible 8.37m.
Heading into the final round, there was still four jumpers in it. Manyonga failed to improve, but Henderson took control with a distance of 8.38m.
Outside of the medal places, Rutherford needed to improve to get onto the podium, and it’s exactly what he did, jumping 8.29m - good enough for bronze but not enough to trouble the leaders.
Lawson’s final jump appeared to be long enough to potentially snatch a silver medal, but a trailing hand saw almost half a metre taken off his distance, ensuring Rutherford would be on the podium.