'Wild' - Greg Rutherford reflects on 'stupidly special' Super Saturday 10 years on from 2012 Olympic Games
August 4, 2012 is often described as the greatest night in the history of British athletics, with Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah all securing gold within a sensational 45 minutes, writing their names into folklore and delighting a capacity crowd of 80,000. Ten years on, Rutherford admits he still "struggles to really understand" what he and his GB team-mates managed to achieve.
Rutherford looks back on 'incredible' Super Saturday at London 2012
Ten years on from Super Saturday, Greg Rutherford still "struggles to really understand" what he and his Great Britain team-mates managed to achieve in 45 unforgettable minutes at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
August 4, 2012 is often described as the greatest night in the history of Team GB, with Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah all securing athletics gold, writing their names into folklore and delighting a capacity crowd of 80,000.
Rutherford had already been written off - having struggled four years earlier in Beijing - when he leapt 8.31m in the fourth round of the men’s long jump, becoming the first Briton to win gold in this particular event since Lynn Davies in 1964.
He had been inspired by what he had just witnessed with Ennis topping the podium after crossing the line first in the 800 metres to claim gold in the heptathlon, finishing 306 points ahead of Germany’s Lilli Schwarzkopf.
“Can you believe it has been 10 years since the London 2012 Olympic Games,” Rutherford said on The Power of Sport, "and 10 years since a moment that completely and utterly changed my life."
Looking back on photos and footage of that iconic night, Rutherford continues: “It's something that every time I think about the emotions just come flooding back, and every time I get to see these pictures I remember these incredible feelings.
“And what an incredible, incredible place to do it: London - in front of an amazing home crowd.”
Rutherford uses Cube technology to analyse his gold medal-winning performance at London 2012
Very few could have predicted the events that would unfold, but Rutherford admits he sensed that something spectacular was going to happen.
“During the entire Games you had a feeling that it was going to be special, but on August 4 you knew it was going to be incredibly special.
“And we knew in track and field that we don’t win lots of gold medals but on Super Saturday we had a chance to do so and it started with, of course, the incredible Jessica Ennis.
“Now I’m over on the other side of the track at this point. I’m watching, I’m shouting, I’m cheering. I’m feeling all of these emotions wanting my friend to become Olympic champion and she crosses the line arms aloft.”
Ennis’ success gave Rutherford extra motivation to pull off his remarkable feat.
“I got a massive rush of emotion,” he continued.
“I was desperate to have my moment - similar to what was going on with Jess - and I remember the crowd kept getting louder and louder for us in every single round and I had to really focus myself back in again.
“I went through all of my thought processes that I always had and I set off down the runway, desperate to have it and feeling every sinew in my body pushing to do it.
“And the moment I got out the pit and stood back and looked at the distance, I knew it was pretty good.
“And the fact of the matter was, that it was pretty cold on the night, conditions weren’t great for jumping, but I’d managed to produce what was going to be the best jump of the Games but I didn’t know if Will Claye, the American, was going to go up there and jump further.
"I was desperate for something to happen. For an alien abduction, for the ground to swallow him up, but I didn’t need it because he runs through.
“And this incredible crowd and this incredible stadium around us. Everyone going absolutely wild.”
Jessica Ennis celebrates winning the heptathlon at the 2012 London Olympics
Image credit: Getty Images
Ennis was only just finishing her lap of honour, but a barely believable night was to get even better when Farah produced a thrilling performance in the 10,000m, hitting the front with just 500m to go to take the win in 27:30:42.
“It was an unbelievable night that was building into something stupidly special,” Rutherford reflected.
“And I stood underneath the flame cheering on again my friend Mo, my team-mate.
“I got to be the sports fan once again and witness what was going to be the last medal of Super Saturday. I got to cheer him on. I got to absorb that.
Britain's Mohamed Farah (R) competes with US' Galen Rupp (L) to win the men's 10,000m final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
Image credit: Getty Images
“All I wanted to do was run on and give him a massive hug because I wanted to say: ‘We’ve done it - we’ve become Olympic champions’. That dream that we’ve all had from an incredibly young age.
“But the emotions, you’re trying to deal with. You’re trying to figure out what’s going on.
“Ten years on, I struggle to really understand.
“We managed to become Olympic champions. We managed to do it in London and I personally achieved a goal that I’d always dreamt of. Truly at the time you don’t really know how to deal with the emotions.
“You’re feeling absolutely everything but something you do understand and what you feel is the pride of holding that flag. Thanking this incredible crowd which I did so many times during my lap of honour for getting behind us.
“And just taking in what was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Realising my dream of being Olympic champion. London 2012 was a brilliant Games not just for me but for everyone. Loved it.”
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