World Indoor Championships: Greg Rutherford withdraws from Birmingham event

Greg Rutherford
Greg Rutherford finished fourth at the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow on Sunday with a best jump of 7.89m
World Indoor Championships
Dates: Thursday, 1 March to Sunday, 4 March. Venue: Arena Birmingham
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, online and the BBC Sport app.

British long jumper Greg Rutherford has withdrawn from the World Indoor Championships which start on Thursday in Birmingham.

The 2012 Olympic champion won the British indoor title in Birmingham last week and competed at the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow on Sunday.

However, the 31-year-old wants to regain full fitness before the European Championships in Berlin in August.

"It has not been an easy decision," said Rutherford.

"My performance from the British Championships to the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow at the weekend showed improvement but it was still not at the level I demand of myself.

"I am now going to take a few days to recover from Glasgow before resuming training as I prepare for a successful summer."

Rutherford, European champion in 2014 and 2016, added: "I am committed to becoming the first long jumper to win three European titles in a row and will be training hard over the coming months to return to the track as fit as ever."

Rutherford withdrew from the 2017 World Championships in London after groin and ankle operations.

Returning to action on 17 February, he jumped 7.80m to win the British Indoor Championships, before finishing fourth in Glasgow on Sunday with a best of 7.89m.

Neil Black, performance director at British Athletics, said: "It has been fantastic to see Greg return to competition this indoor season and we have been impressed by the progress he has made.

"Unfortunately, that progress is not quite enough for him to be able to compete at the high standards he demands in Birmingham."

He had already said he will not compete in the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast in April.

The European Championships in Berlin run from 7-12 August.

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