Rutherford wins again in Diamond League

Greg Rutherford

Rutherford’s second jump of the night proved enough for victory

Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford produced a season’s best to win the Diamond League meeting in Rome.

The Briton jumped 8.31 metres in round two of the event, the same mark he achieved to claim gold at London 2012.

It maintained his unbeaten record in 2016 as American Marquise Goodwin came second with 8.19m and France’s Fabrice Lapierre managed 8.18m for third.

After his success, Rutherford hinted he may pull out of Sunday’s Birmingham Diamond League to rest his body.

Great Britain’s London 2012 bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz, who is expected to compete in Birmingham, jumped 2.30 metres to come second in the high jump in Rome.

It was a best outdoor height for Grabarz since 2013 but he fell short of Ukrainian Bohdan Bondarenko’s effort of 2.33 metres.

Rutherford – who added a world title to his Olympic gold in 2015 – is unhappy with changes to the Diamond League competition that mean four athletes contest the closing stages compared to eight in the past.

The result is less recovery time between jumps with Rutherford saying: “You can’t perform.”

He added that athletes were “incredibly frustrated”.

“I have to jump again in three days Birmingham,” Rutherford, 29, said. “My body now feels a bit tired and it’s one of those things where you have to think this is an Olympic year – do I have to pull out of the competition in order to preserve the body?”

The Birmingham event is expected to feature 21 world champions as they bid to secure qualifying standards for the Rio Olympic Games, which start on 5 August.

Elsewhere at the Rome fixture, American Justin Gatlin won over 100m in a non-Diamond League race, clocking a season’s best of 9.93 seconds to edge out compatriot Ameer Webb (9.94).

Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana missed out of the women’s 5000m world record by just over a second, clocking 14:12.59.

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