Greg Rutherford backs Worlds selection after failing to reach final

Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has defended his selection for the World Championships over British rival Chris Tomlinson, after failing to reach the final in Moscow.

Tomlinson tweeted about his "anger" as Rutherford finished 14th in qualifying.

Neither athlete reached the qualifying standard for the championships but Rutherford was picked.

"I'm still British number one and still jumped further multiple times than him this year," Rutherford said.

Rutherford's season bests

  • 2013: 8.22m
  • 2012: 8.35m
  • 2011: 8.32m (wind assisted)
  • 2010: 8.22m
  • 2009: 8.30m

Rutherford was jumping on Wednesday for the first time since tearing his hamstring at the Paris Diamond League meeting at the start of July.

His best effort of 7.87m was two centimetres short of the leap of 12th-placed Ignisious Gaisah from the Netherlands. Only the top 12 qualify.

Tomlinson vented his fury on Twitter, saying: "Words can't describe my anger. Season ruined on media profile & not current athletic form, thanks for the support from the athletics community."

He later removed the tweet.

Rutherford dismissed Tomlinson's claim for the one place available to the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the long jump, claiming he had historically performed better than his rival.

He said: "No matter what, if you're looking at somebody who failed the distance but won more head-to-heads and still has a major title behind them, it's a no brainer.

"Surely, you'd pick that person in the same scenario?

Continue reading the main story

I broke all the rules, really, in rehabbing quicker than I think anybody has in history from a ruptured hamstring

Greg Rutherford

"Again, Chris is obviously going to be upset but there's nothing I can do about that.

"We both put ourselves in a not-great position by not jumping an 'A' qualifier so that's what it comes down to.

"We had plenty of opportunities and when speaking to [performance director] Neil Black, he gave us a two-week extension, he didn't give that to anyone else.

"So we should have got the job done. And it just gave me enough time to get fit.

"I'm feeling pretty good but just not jumping far enough at the moment. I'm not too concerned about tweets and whatever else."

Rutherford, who jumped 8.31m to win gold at London 2012, accepts he rushed back from his hamstring injury to take part in the championships but insists he felt fully fit by the time of the competition.

"Sadly I felt better than I was. It wasn't good enough," he said.

"I broke all the rules, really, in rehabbing quicker than I think anybody has in history from a ruptured hamstring.

"But I knew after the final jump when I saw 7.87m come up that it wouldn't be enough and, even if it was enough, it's not really competitive. So I knew straight away."

His failure to reach the final completes a disappointing year for the Milton Keynes athlete, who has also lost his sponsorship and split with his American coach Dan Pfaff.

There was also disappointment for Burnley's Sophie Hitchon, who missed out on a place in the hammer throw final after failing to improve on her first-round effort of 68.56m.

But there was better news for Scotland's Chris O'Hare, whose eighth place in three minutes 38.86 seconds was enough to secure a place in the men's 1500m semi-finals.