Britain’s Greg Rutherford said winning the IAAF Diamond League long jump title has helped him overcome his «demons».
The Olympic champion jumped 8.32m to beat America’s Marquis Dendy in Zurich on Thursday to take the title. Rutherford, who won World Championships gold last week in China, believes the victory has answered his critics.
The 28-year-old said: «I put any demons to bed that people might have thought it was a bit flukey again, as everybody keeps saying.»
Rutherford added world gold to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles but still faced suggestions he had been lucky as his main challengers failed to hit form on the day. At the Diamond League final in Zurich, Rutherford secured a title that was built on victories in Birmingham, Oslo and Stockholm. Although his night’s work earned him $50,000 (£32,773), Rutherford was clearly most delighted to have triumphed over his competitors, who he feels have not appreciated the effort he has put in.
The Milton Keynes-based athlete told BBC Sport: «After the World Championships people were saying, ‘we’re going to take him in Zurich, he’s the one we’re going to take down’ and ‘fluke’ and whatever else. «My competitors think I don’t want it as much as them but I want it more.»
Rutherford also confirmed he would be moving to the United States in the new year to link up again with former coach Dan Pfaff.
«He helped me win an Olympic title. He is, for me, the greatest coach in the world and going into another Olympics I want to win that as well and retain my title,» said Rutherford.
«It makes sense to go and work with Dan. I think I’ll be there for five or six months in Phoenix, Arizona, and hopefully I can have a very solid training block there, come out for the summer next year and do the same again as what I did this year.»