News26 May 2016

World's best long jumpers to do battle in Birmingham – IAAF Diamond League


Greg Rutherford at the 2015 IAAF Diamond League in Birmingham (© Jean-Pierre Durand)

Great Britain’s world, Olympic and European champion Greg Rutherford will face many of the world’s best long jumpers at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham on Sunday 5 June.

Among his rivals at the Alexander Stadium, Rutherford will face world leader Marquise Goodwin, world indoor champion Marquis Dendy and world and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor.

“I’ll be up against all of the best long jumpers in the world so it will be a very good test for me," said Rutherford. "If I can perform well in Birmingham, there’s no reason I can’t do the same at the Olympics. There’s nothing better than competing on home soil in front of British fans, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a major test for me but I’m ready."

Former world junior champion Goodwin is a currently an NFL player with the Buffalo Bills but he is having a hiatus from that sport to focus on athletics and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He jumped a personal best and world-leading 8.45m in Guadeloupe earlier this month

“Next to my NFL career, I love track and field and competing in the long jump this summer," he said. "It was amazing to jump 8.45m and I’m hoping to build on it with another big jump in Birmingham; I think the long jump could be one of the most exciting events of the meet.”

Rutherford will also face a stern test from Dendy, who set an outright PB of 8.41m indoors earlier this year.

“Winning the world indoor title was a great breakthrough for me and I’m confident of taking my form into the outdoor season," said Dendy. "Competing at the Birmingham Diamond League against some great competitors will be an important test for me as I build towards the Olympic Games which is the main target for me this summer."

Taylor will test himself in the long jump in Birmingham, as he did in 2014 when winning the event ahead of the likes of Rutherford.

USA's Jeff Henderson, who has the furthest personal best in the field with 8.54m, is also in the field, along with Australia’s world silver medallist Fabrice Lapierre, USA’s Mike Hartfield and Great Britain’s Dan Bramble.

Organisers for the IAAF

2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar
6 May – Doha, QAT
14 May – Shanghai, CHN
22 May – Rabat, MAR
28 May – Eugene, USA
2 Jun – Rome, ITA
5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR
9 Jun – Oslo, NOR
16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
15 Jul – Monaco, MON
22-23 Jul – London, GBR
25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI
27 Aug – Paris, FRA
1 Sep – Zurich, SUI
9 Sep – Brussels, BEL