Britain's 13th gold medal
of the 2012 London Games, Greg Rutherford also became the first Briton since Lynn Davies in 1964 to win the Olympic long-jump title.
But who is he and where did he come from?
Born in Milton Keynes, 25-year-old Rutherford led the world rankings going into this year's Olympics but had largely slipped under the radar - despite breaking the British record in May.
Progression of British record
- Lynn Davies, Berne, 30 June 1968
- 8.27m -
Chris Tomlinson, Tallahassee, 13 April 2002
- Chris Tomlinson, Bad Langensalza, 7 July 2007
- Greg Rutherford, Berlin, 20 August 2009
- Chris Tomlinson, Paris, 8 July 2011
- Greg Rutherford, San Diego, 3 May 2012
He first emerged as a future star in 2005 when he won the European Junior Championship with a jump of 8.14m.
That progression continued when he won silver in the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg, aged 21.
There were high hopes after that performance but injury blighted his progression and he could only finish 21st in qualifying at the World Championships in Osaka a year later.
The following season injury again disrupted his progression and it was feared he would never make the breakthrough on the international stage, coming 10th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Rutherford later admitted after that disappointment he had considered quitting the sport.
In 2009 he looked to have come through his injury problems, breaking Chris Tomlinson's British record with a jump of 8.30m in qualifying at the World Championships in Berlin, before going on to finish fifth in the final.
And in 2011 he appeared to be in the form of his life before suffering a hamstring tear at last year's World Championships qualifying round in Daegu.
He again considered his future in the sport after becoming fed up at constantly being floored by injury.
Then came the turning point.
American coach Dan Pfaff was hired by GB athletics head coach Charles van Commenee - to help sort out injuries in the British team.
Pfaff helped rebuild Rutherford's technique, making him less injury prone and the changes proved successful.
In May, Rutherford signalled his Olympic intent by breaking his personal best -
jumping 8.35m to match Tomlinson's British record set last summer.
And in front of an 80,000-strong home crowd, he jumped 8.31m to take Olympic gold on Great Britain's most successful day at a Games in 104 years.