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