Greg Rutherford wins British indoor long jump title in Birmingham

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    Rutherford’s winning jump of 7.80m came with his first attempt

    Former Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford returned to action with victory at the British Indoor Championships in Birmingham.

    The 31-year-old only competed three times last year and missed the chance to defend his World Championship title after groin and ankle operations.

    He jumped 7.80 metres at the Arena Birmingham as he plans for the World Indoors at the same venue next month.

    Scotland’s Laura Muir won the women’s 3,000m ahead of Eilish McColgan.

    Rutherford, who came fresh from a training programme in Dubai, said he was “terrified to begin with but so happy”.

    The Milton Keynes athlete does not have the qualifying standard of 8.19m for the competition but host nation Britain are permitted to enter one athlete in an event where there is not otherwise representation.

    Rutherford completed six jumps in his first competition since June, with 7.75m in the third round his next best effort.

    “I only put spikes in one month ago so it means a lot to do all six rounds,” he added.

    Rutherford, who has withdrawn from the England team for the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, is due to compete in next weekend’s Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow and will then decide whether to contest the World Indoors – the only global title he is yet to win.

    “If they are still willing to put me in, I’ll feel through Glasgow and I’ll push it on a bit within the next week,” said Rutherford.

    “If all goes well, then why not?”

    Laura Muir (centre), who ran her final kilometre in 2:42.93, was congratulated by Eilish McColgan at the finish

    Muir, who made her break from the rest of the 3,000m field with three laps to go, finished in 8 minutes 46.71 seconds, ahead of fellow Scot McColgan, who ran a season’s best time of 8:50.87.

    Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the women’s long jump, with a distance of 6.71m.

    After a stuttering start, Andrew Pozzi recovered to take the 60m hurdles crown in 7.58 seconds.

    The sprinter, who failed to make the final of last year’s World Championships 110m hurdles, stormed through the field after initially being slow out of the blocks.

    Asha Philip beat her fellow British world relay silver medallist Daryll Neita in the women’s 60m in a season’s best 7.12.

    Reigning European champion Philip will return to Birmingham for the World Indoors next month.

    Joining her there is CJ Ujah, who won the men’s 60m in 6.56 seconds in a final field of five, after 2014 world champion Richard Kilty withdrew before the start of the race and two other athletes were disqualified for false starts.

    Jake Whiteman also secured his place at the World Indoor Championships with victory in the men’s 1500m in 3:43.83 – his first British Indoor title.

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