25 APR 2014 Report Chula Vista, USA

Rutherford leaps 8.51m, Lavillenie returns to action

Greg Rutherford in long jump action in California (Randy Miyazaki)Greg Rutherford in long jump action in California (Randy Miyazaki) © Copyright

Great Britain’s Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford set a national record of 8.51m in the Californian town of Chula Vista on Thursday (24).

Rutherford had been the co-owner of the previous British record of 8.35m with Chris Tomlinson.

He fouled his first two jumps in Chula Vista and registered a leap of 8.18m before breaking the record with his fourth effort.

Following the record, Rutherford commented on Twitter: “I'm shaking. I can't believe how amazing today has been. Absolutely buzzing #8.51.

“Wow my body is feeling it now. Thanks for all the amazing messages. I've waited a long time for this. More to come #851 British Record.”

Rutherford won the gold medal with a winning distance of 8.31m at the 2012 Olympic Games, one of three for British athletes in the space of barely 40 minutes on what has been dubbed by local media as ‘Super Saturday’.

US shot putter Joe Kovacs produced a world-leading mark of 21.47m in his specialist event at the same meeting.

Also in the USA on Thursday, fellow Olympic gold medallist Renaund Lavillenie of France returned to competition for the first time since he set a pole vault world record of 6.16m indoors in Donetsk in February.

Lavillenie won the sixth annual Drake Relays Pole Vault at the Mall in Des Moines with 5.71m, winning on count-back from Great Britain’s Steve Lewis, who also cleared 5.71m but had more failures in the competition. Both men failed at 5.81m.

“It was good for me to take the win today, and to be here because it was a crazy atmosphere,” said Lavillenie, despite the modest height by his exalted standards.

He is unbeaten in 2014 after six competitions but suffered a heel injury in Donetsk when attempting 6.21m, which ruled him out of the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships last month.

Cuba’s Yarisley Silva won the women’s competition in Des Moines with 4.68m, also winning on count-back from the USA’s Kylie Hutson, who cleared that height with her second attempt, compared to Silva’s first-time success. Both women then tried at 4.78m.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF