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Rutherford slammed after long jump failure

ESPN staff
August 14, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Greg Rutherford fell some way short of his personal best in Moscow after rushing back from injury © PA Photos
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Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford crashed out of the World Athletics Championships after failing to qualify for the final, and immediately found himself embroiled in a row with rival Chris Tomlinson.

Rutherford, who suffered a hamstring tear less than six weeks before the championships in Moscow, needed a jump of 8.10m to qualify automatically for the final, but could only manage 7.87m. With only three jumpers going beyond the qualifying mark, the British record-holder - a mark he shares with Tomlinson - missed out on a place among the 12 finalists by two centimetres.

"Sadly I felt better than I was. It wasn't good enough," Rutherford told BBC Sport. "I broke all the rules in rehab to come back from a ruptured hamstring. I felt really confident. I got up this morning and thought this is going to be a good day. It's amazing how different a year can be. I knew after the final jump that it was not long enough. From my point of view it's been a bad day."

Rutherford's best effort was some way short of the 8.31m he leapt at the Olympics, and his personal best of 8.35m.

Tomlinson, overlooked for the Team GB squad in favour of Rutherford, was quick to vent his frustrations at the result on Twitter. "Words can't describe my anger" Tomlinson tweeted. "Season ruined on media profile & not current athletic form. Thanks for the support from the athletics community."

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

"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."

Chris O'Hare booked his place in the semi-finals of the men's 1500m despite finishing eighth in his heat. The 22-year-old British champion qualified as a fastest loser with a time of 3min 38.86sec.

"I knew I was strong enough and tough enough and I am not one to take it out early on, but I just thought I would fight for my position," O'Hare said. "I struggled in the last 100m but I wanted to run with heart."

Ireland's Rob Heffernan claimed the nation's first World Athletics Championships gold medal in 18 years with victory in the 50km walk.

Heffernan beat Russia's Mikhail Ryzhov in a time of three hours 37 minutes and 56 seconds to claim his country's third world title since the inaugural Championships in 1983, when Eamonn Coghlan won 5,000m gold. Sonia O'Sullivan also won the 5,000m in Gothenburg in 1995.

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