Greg Rutherford trying to learn from the best

GREAT BRITAIN’S Greg Rutherford is trying to learn from the best as he goes for Olympics glory in London this summer.

Rutherford has been studying the technique of Olympic legend Carl Lewis, who won numerous medals over 100 metres, 200 metres and in the 4x100m relay as well as four successive golds in the long jump.

Since his emergence as a 19-year-old at the 2006 European Championships, Rutherford has been plagued by injuries, but he hopes a change in technique will not only help him to be more successful but also prevent further injury problems.

“Ever since I joined Dan Pfaff I’ve been trialling different technical changes and this year again we’ve changed something else so that’s a big aim, to stop any form of issues happening,” Rutherford said from Aviva-funded training camp in Los Angeles.

“I won’t say exactly what it is yet because I want to see if it is noticeable to everyone watching, but there’s definitely a big change.

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“We’ve drawn upon some of the best jumpers in history to take some key factors and hopefully that’s going to amount to some much bigger distances and me actually being able to string together plenty of competitions without much issue.

“In previous years I’ve had plenty of injuries and illness so we’re hoping with smarter training and better jumping that won’t be a problem any more.”

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Asked which athletes in particular he has been learning from, Commonwealth silver medallist Rutherford added: “Carl Lewis has been a big one. I’m quite fortunate, just using the aid of youtube there’s quite a lot of footage of him.

“The likes of Ivan Pedroso (the 2000 Olympic champion) are just a completely different build to me, but someone like Carl who’s a lot more similar is easier for me to relate to in terms of improving myself.

“I look at a lot of his slowed down jumps and the things he did on the run up and take off, which I’ve found I can now replicate, which hopefully is now going to be a big part of my season.

“Dan (Pfaff) also spent a lot of time with Carl’s coach Tom Tellez back in the day as well, so I think he got to see it first hand and understand it.

“I’m not trying to say I am Carl Lewis at all, he’s obviously an incredible athlete, but there are things I believe I can take from what he did which I believe will improve me.

“To become one of the best you’ve got to learn from the best. I think he’s pretty special being able to break it down and actually replicate it which seems so far to be helping.”

Aviva has been backing the GB & NI Team since 1999. Now it’s your turn. BackTheTeam on Twitter or search for ‘Aviva Athletics’ on Facebook.

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