London 2017 World Athletics Championships: Britain's Greg Rutherford ruled out of title defence but vows to make history on his comeback

 
Frank Dalleres
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Rutherford has won gold in every major athletics championship (Source: Getty)

Reigning world champion Greg Rutherford has vowed to overcome the disappointment of missing his title defence in London next month by making long-jump history.

Rutherford accepted defeat yesterday in his race to be fit for the World Athletics Championships, having been left unable to train properly by an ankle ligament injury and a hernia.

The Briton admitted to being “so devastated” by the blow, but insists he can return stronger than ever to complete a unique treble at next year’s European Championships in Berlin.

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“In the last few days I have had to accept an unfortunate reality. I did everything I could, but a string of injuries at the worst possible time means I will be unable to defend my world title in London,” he said.

“My focus will now turn to 2018 and becoming a three-time European champion on the trot, something no long jumper has ever done before.”

Rutherford, 28, has won gold at all four major athletics championships had been one of Britain’s best medal hopes for London 2017, which starts at the former Olympic Stadium on 4 August.

“I am truly gutted,” he added. “That stadium is such a special place for me, I am so devastated that I won’t be competing in front of the best fans in the world, in the stadium that changed my life. But, I’ll definitely be there to support my British team mates.”

Sprinter Richard Kilty has also withdrawn from the relay squad with a broken finger, but long-jumpers Shara Proctor and Jazmin Sawyers have been added to the 104-strong British team.

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