SPORT

Greg Rutherford Defends World Championships Selection Despite Exit

14/08/2013 10:34 BST | Updated 14/08/2013 10:34 BST

Greg Rutherford maintained his selection for the Moscow World Championships was a "no brainer", despite exiting at the first hurdle.

A year after claiming Olympic gold on London 2012's Super Saturday, the selection of 26-year-old Rutherford for Russia ahead of rival Chris Tomlinson was controversial.

UK Athletics performance director Neil Black picked Rutherford, despite struggling with a hamstring injury, ahead of the fully-fit Tomlinson.

greg rutherford

Rutherford could not justify his Moscow selection

The decision backfired as the Milton Keynes athlete finished 14th in qualification today, managing a best of 7.87 metres - well shy of the 8.35m personal best he set last year.

An already irked Tomlinson was furious at Rutherford's performance and vented his fury on Twitter.

"Words can't describe my anger season ruined on media profile & not current athletic form,thanks for the support from the athletics community," he wrote, before hastily deleting the post.

Rutherford, however, insisted he merited inclusion on the basis of his number one status.

"Ultimately I'm still British number one as it stands and still jumped further multiple times than him this year," he said. "I've beaten him every time apart from when I got hurt.

"I think in any event, no matter what if you're looking at somebody better whose failed the distance that year but won more head-to-heads and still has a major title behind them, it's a no brainer.

"Surely, you'd pick anyone in any event in the same scenario?

"Again, Chris is obviously going to be upset but there's nothing I can do about that."

Wednesday's performance capped a miserable 2013 for Rutherford, who has also lost his sponsorship and split with American coach Dan Pfaff.