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GOLD MEDALLIST RUTHERFORD TO STAR AT AVIVA BIRMINGHAM GRAND PRIX

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Greg Rutherford London 2012

13 August

Britain’s Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (coach: Dan Pfaff) will return to action on British soil for the first time since his stunning Olympic gold medal performance when he competes at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on Sunday 26 August.

Rutherford claimed the most prestigious prize in athletics when he jumped 8.31m in front of an 80,000 capacity crowd at Olympic Park on ‘Super Saturday’, sandwiched between gold medals for fellow Brits Jess Ennis (Toni Minichiello) and Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar). After savouring victory in the biggest event of his life, the 25-year-old is looking forward to getting back to the track and entertaining a fanatical West Midlands crowd in Britain’s final Samsung Diamond League meet of the season.

“The Olympics were an amazing experience from start to finish, the crowd were unbelievable and I’m really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd once again at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix.

"There’s a real buzz around the sport at the moment, and I’m sure that the British public will be out in full force to welcome the returning Olympians to Birmingham.”

In a mouth-watering twist that will see two Olympic champions go head-to-head, Rutherford will take on America’s newly-crowned Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, who will compete in the long jump for the first time in Europe since 2008. The two gold medallists will be joined by Australia’s Olympic long jump silver medallist, Mitchell Watt, as well as joint British record holder Chris Tomlinson (Frank Attoh).

Despite specialising in the triple jump, the talented 22-year-old Taylor holds a respectable 8.19m long jump personal best and narrowly missed out on a position in the US long jump squad at London 2012, finishing fourth at their Olympic Trials in June. Rutherford is looking forward to the challenge of facing one of the rising stars of athletics.

“I’m really excited about the prospect of going up against Christian [Taylor]. He showed his world-class credentials winning gold in the triple jump at the Games, and it will be great to go head-to-head with him at the Alexander Stadium at the end of August.”

The joint British record holder will be looking to close the gap at the top of the Samsung Diamond League standings, with Australian Watt leading the way after a strong showing at the Aviva London Grand Prix last month in Crystal Palace, where he took victory over Chris Tomlinson by 2cm with a jump of 8.28m. Despite Watt leading their career head-to-head 4-2, Rutherford will be full of confidence heading to the Birmingham Alexander Stadium after his Olympic triumph.                                                                                                                          

“Ive got a taste for victory now, especially after winning gold in London. I hope I can continue the trend and push for a strong finish in the Samsung Diamond League.

“It will be the last major meet in the country this year and I’m determined to give the crowd another big reason to cheer in what has been the best year of my career.”

Back the team and watch the world’s best athletes in action at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on 26 August. Watch the action live on BBC1 from 1.30pm – 5pm.