Katrina Johnson-Thompson hopes to make up for missing Glasgow Games
OLYMPIAN Greg Rutherford will return to defend his long jump gold at next year’s Commonwealth Games, with Team England announcing yesterday its 75-strong athletics squad.
Rutherford, who won the long jump title at London 2012, has had an injury-disrupted year and missed the World Championships in London over the summer due to an ankle problem.
The 30-year-old later had surgery for a hernia but will be in Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018 to defend the Commonwealth gold he won in Scotland. Medal hopefuls Adam Gemili, Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson have all been included.
Gemili was pipped to the 100m gold in Glasgow by Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Cole and was also part of the sprint relay team that finished second to the Jamaicans.
“Winning two silver medals in Glasgow 2014 was an incredible experience for me and I’m really excited to get back out there,” Gemili said.
“The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was a fantastic event. It was the first time I won a senior international medal so it’s great to be going back to where it all started. I’m looking forward to competing for Team England again and can’t wait to get out to Australia.”
Heptathlete Johnson-Thompson had been favourite to win gold in Glasgow but was forced to withdraw in the build-up due to a foot injury. Having been close to claiming a medal at the 2016 Olympics and this summer’s World Championships, she will be considered one of England’s safest bets for a place on the podium.
“It’s always a great feeling to represent your country on the international stage and I’m really excited to get to compete for Team England,” Johnson-Thompson said.
“I was so gutted to get an injury just before Glasgow 2014 and miss out so I’m really looking forward to competing at my first Commonwealth Games in Australia next year.”