UK champion tells Bryony Pearce how she wants to get close to Barbara Parker’s mark after illness-hit year
Greg Rutherford targets Euro gold and Winter OlympicsJuly 30, 2014
After winning long jump gold in Glasgow, the Olympic and Commonwealth champion is already eyeing up more medals
Greg Rutherford is determined to add European gold to his Olympic and Commonwealth titles – and still harbours ambitions of winning the Winter Olympics in the skeleton.
Moments after winning the long jump crown in Glasgow on Wednesday night, the 27-year-old began looking ahead to Zurich, where the European Athletics Championships take place from August 12-17, as he chases double gold during the summer of 2014.
“To have an Olympic, Commonwealth and European titles during one championship cycle would be pretty special,” he said. “I’ve got 17 days (before long jump qualifying) and that’s plenty of days for me. I’ve come back from injuries quicker than that. I have no injuries but I’m obviously a little bit tired.
“You have to tackle that post championship crash. There’s always this feeling of letting your body “exhale” so I’ll have a couple of days off and on Monday morning I’ll be back on the track and be working hard before I leave the following Sunday for Zurich.”
Earlier this year, Rutherford revealed he fancies tackling skeleton or bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics, possibly at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, and the long jumper repeated the ambition minutes after sealing the Commonwealth crown.
“I’m going to give it a go,” he said. “I’m going to achieve everything I can in long jump – this is my sport and what I love doing. But after maybe 2017, who knows. If I can go and give that a go, it’ll be fun.”
He added: “I’ll only do it if I can win. I only do sports that I can win at. I tried so many before doing long jump before I settled on it, so whether or not skeleton will be good for me, I don’t know. But 85mph down an ice track sounds like fun, although I might do it and end up screaming the whole way down.
“For now, though, I’m here to win long jump titles and skeleton is something I might do later in life.”
Rutherford is still passionate about athletics, though, especially the Commonwealth Games. “I think it’s massively important, especially for youngsters getting their first taste of what it’s like,” he said. “You saw what it means to me. Commonwealth Games has always had a great place in my heart. It was my first senior championships in 2006. At the second one I won silver. Now I’ve won gold.”
» A round-up report from the fourth evening athletics session at Glasgow 2014 can be found here