Commonwealth Games champion set to compete on Tyneside

Long jumper Greg Rutherford will take part in GreatCity Games on the Quayside after his Commonwealth success

Greg Rutherford
Greg Rutherford

Olympic and Commonwealth long jump champion Greg Rutherford will be following his latest triumph with a date on Tyneside.

The athlete - who won the Commonwealth title on Wednesday night - will be taking part in the Great North CityGames, which takes place the day before the Great North Run on September 6.

It will be the fourth time Rutherford has taken part in the event.

Rutherford made a winning debut in the Great North CityGames in 2009, jumping 8.17 metres, but has lost on his last two visits to Tyneside, finishing runner-up to Australia’s Chris Noffke in 2010 and to his British rival, Teessider Chris Tomlinson, in 2012.

He said: “I love competing in the Great North CityGames so much because of the interaction you get with the public,” said Rutherford. “It’s fun for the athletes and the public can come and go as they please.

“To be honest, I can see street athletics as the future of track and field. It’s just a fantastic concept.

“The crowds are always out in force on the Quayside. We get such incredible support from the people of the North East and all the runners in town ahead of the Bupa Great North Run on Sunday.”

Tyneside has a special place in Rutherford’s heart as his great-grandfather was one of the stars of the great Newcastle United side of the early 1900s.

Jock Rutherford was a right-winger who became known as the Newcastle flyer. He also won 11 England caps and played in the old First Division for Arsenal at the age of 41.

He said: “I always have a little bit of a soft spot for Newcastle but, being a Man United fan, I can’t be too soft.”

The Great North CityGames will see a number of events taking part on a purpose built track on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides.

Crowds of up to 25,000 are expected to watch performances from some of the most recognisable names in international sport – which have included in the past double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah, Australia’s Olympic and world champion Sally Pearson and Olympic Silver medallist and world champion Christine Ohuruogu.

More athletes for this year’s event will be announced soon.

The Games are part of the Great North Run weekend, which also includes the mini and junior races as well as the popular half marathon.

This year will also see a special event on September 4 to mark the fact that the millionth runner will finish the Great North Run this year.

The Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony will feature music, mass choreography, storytelling, projections onto the Sage Gateshead and a firework and pyrotechnic spectacular.


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