Rutherford prepares for emotional weekend at Müller Anniversary Games
This weekend’s Müller Anniversary Games will mark the end of an era as British long jumper Greg Rutherford takes to the London Stadium runway for the final time.
Speaking at this morning’s press conference, Rutherford said: “This is going to be a very emotional weekend for me. Every time I compete in the UK it is very emotional. Since London, I have had an amazing reception every time I step out into the stadium and it does bring a tear to the eye and that’s going to be no difference on Sunday. It’s going to be a very emotional weekend.”
Rutherford produced one of the most memorable moments from London 2012 as he won Olympic gold along with Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah in the space of 44 magical minutes inside the London Stadium.
After deciding to bring his glittering long jump career to an end later this year, the 31-year-old wants to enjoy his final time competing inside the iconic stadium.
“I am really looking forward to going out there and enjoying it. I am in a very different place than a few years ago. I am not now coming into Diamond League events and saying ‘right, I’m here to win it,” Rutherford said.
“I know my body is in a bit of a rough place, which is frustrating, but equally I have had to accept it. For me just going out and jumping half decent will be nice.”
Rutherford will be joined on the London Stadium runway by a star-studded field, featuring world champion Jeff Henderson (USA) and world and Commonwealth champion Luvo Manyonga (RSA).
The Müller Anniversary Games will see Manyonga return to the London Stadium, 12 months after winning gold at last year’s World Championships.
Manyonga said: “I was crowned world champion here so it’s like a coming back home feeling. Producing those distances last weekend [at the Athletics World Cup] shows I am in good shape. I am looking forward to a great competition, an exciting event, and to just go out there and enjoy it and have fun.”
French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie also has fond memories of the stadium, winning Olympic gold in 2012, and the world record holder is looking forward to being back.
Lavillenie said: “It’s a very good stadium. I love competing in England, people love track and field and it shows in their support. Every time I have compete in this stadium I have been able to make something good, so it’s a good feeling to be in this place again.”