Emo­tional Ruther­ford cries foul af­ter judg­ing er­ror ‘de­nied me the chance to put pres­sure on’

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - RIO 2016 - By Ben Bloom

Greg Ruther­ford was left to won­der what might have been af­ter claim­ing that a judg­ing er­ror con­trib­uted to an un­suc­cess­ful de­fence of his Olympic long jump ti­tle.

Ruther­ford was re­duced to tears af­ter he was only able to win bronze in Rio be­hind Amer­i­can win­ner Jeff Hen­der­son, but the Bri­ton was left to rue an er­ror that he sug­gested played a ma­jor part in his down­fall. Ini­tially ruled as a foul, Ruther­ford’s fourth ef­fort was ret­ro­spec­tively re­in­stated af­ter the com­pe­ti­tion ended and he was awarded a dis­tance of 8.26m.

Al­though not good enough for gold, that would have put him in sil­ver-medal po­si­tion at the time with two jumps to go. “I had a slight an­noy­ing ad­vance­ment at the end when they told me the foul I had wasn’t a foul and they’d given me the mark,” he said.

“That’s slightly frus­trat­ing as I would have put my­self back in [sec­ond place] and put pres­sure on the field again. I didn’t have an op­por­tu­nity to do that as they gave it as a foul. It would have so­lid­i­fied the bronze-medal po­si­tion ear­lier.”

In­stead, Ruther­ford was forced to come from out­side the medal po­si­tions with his fi­nal jump to leap 8.29m for bronze. Hen­der­son took vic­tory with a best of 8.38m, with South Africa’s Luvo Many­onga one cen­time­tre be­hind the win­ner.

Dev­as­tated at re­lin­quish­ing his grand slam of Olympic, world, Euro­pean and Com­mon­wealth ti­tles, Ruther­ford added: “You can prob­a­bly tell by my face I’m not ex­actly the hap­pi­est at the mo­ment.

“I come into th­ese com­pe­ti­tions to win them. Ul­ti­mately I didn’t jump long enough to­day and that’s very dif­fi­cult for me to take.”

Ruther­ford’s emo­tional re­sponse lasted deep into the night, as he un­der­lined his de­sire to achieve bet­ter re­sults in the fu­ture.

He wrote on Twit­ter from Rio in the early hours: “Morn­ing to ev­ery­one back home. I’m still awake (4:30am). I truly can­not thank you all enough for the amaz­ing mes­sages of sup­port.

“I’m re­ally dis­ap­pointed with to­day and that may sound mad to some, but I wanted this so bad and gave ev­ery­thing to try and win.

“When your best isn’t good enough it hurts and I want to rec­tify what’s hap­pened. Thank you again for the love. It means so much.”

Wrong call: ruled out as a foul, Greg Ruther­ford’s fourth jump was re­in­stated later

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