He might have jumped like a ‘doughnut’ on his way to Sainsbury’s British Championship gold but Greg Rutherford hopes a newly-installed long jump pit in his garden will help rekindle his finest form.
The Olympic champion will look to complete his impressive collection of medals when he goes on the hunt for World Championship gold in Beijing next month.
However, if he wants to conquer the world then he will have to produce a leap much greater than the 8.11m that won him gold at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Sunday.
But Rutherford now has the aid of a 52m track and sand pit next to his house where he says he will hone his skills ahead of the trip to China.
“I’ll be training on it, getting ready for the worlds,” said Rutherford, speaking at the event, a partnership with British Athletics that builds on Sainsbury’s support for the 2012 Paralympics and recognises that sport can unite and inspire children of all ages.
“I’ll use it for my run-ups and any short sprinting, because it’s 52 metres long. I can put decent 50-metre sprints down.
“It will be a good training base. I’ve already got the home gym. Now I’ve got the track.
“My dad’s a builder and I asked if we could put in a long jump pit. He said: ‘Yeah, right.’ He’s a bit of a nutter like that. It started off as a bit of a dream. Now it’s becoming reality.
“I was jumping like an absolute doughnut in the final which is really weird because a few competitions ago I was jumping 8.25-8.35m and feeling amazing.
“You have to accept that you do have days like that so it does happen and hopefully this is the one time this year that it does happen.”
Also in action was Milton Keynes sprint star Joey Duck who made steady progress to Saturday’s 200m final but couldn’t make the impact she wanted and finished fourth in 23.89 seconds.
“I’m disappointed, the bend was good but then I just tightened up,” said Duck, who earlier got disqualified in the 100m heats for a false start.
“Everything has been going really well, I had four weeks out but since then it’s been really good.
“It’s an experience so I have to just put it down as a learning curve.”
Sainsbury’s is a proud partner of British Athletics. The partnership reflects Sainsbury’s wider commitment to inspiring healthy lifestyles for all, and complements grassroots campaigns such as Active Kids and the Sainsbury’s School Games. www.sainsburys.co.uk