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Rutherford out to silence critics

Greg Rutherford is determined to "shut up" the critics who have claimed he was lucky to win Olympic gold.

The long jumper won gold along with Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah on Super Saturday at London 2012, but endured a nightmare follow-up season.

He split with coach Dan Pfaff who had guided him to his Olympic success, lost his sponsorship deal with Nike and failed to make the final at the World Championships in Moscow after his build-up to the event was derailed by a serious hamstring tear.

That memorable night at the Olympic Stadium now seems a long time ago, but Rutherford wants to silence those who have questioned his ability to triumph again by winning the Commonwealth title in Glasgow.

"When I was a kid and I was always trying to get to where I eventually got to, a lot of people said it'd never be me, I'd never be the guy to do it," the 27-year-old said.

"It seems I got there and now people are telling me I will never do it again.

"I am very much driven and aiming to do it again.

"I can't make everybody like me, I can't change what they think. I'm going to keep going to the track, keep jumping far and this year aim to come back with another title.

"I'll shut up everybody by jumping far."

The Milton Keynes athlete opened his 2014 season with a decent 8.00 metres leap at the Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday, showing no sign of the slight hamstring problem which delayed his start to the campaign.

That jump at the National Indoor Arena, which placed him third in a high-quality field, was his first and last indoor competition this year.

He has opted to miss the World Indoor Championships next month to focus on winning the Commonwealth Games in July and is now set to head out to San Diego to prepare for that goal.

Rutherford added: "Saturday was a good day for me and hopefully it will start to silence a few of those people when they realise I can still compete.

"Eight metres is not the most impressive distance in the world, but ultimately I know where that puts me in the grand scheme of things. I can't wait for the summer.

"It makes me angry when former athletes have a pop and they are very quick to forget how it was when they were athletes."

Rutherford also confirmed that he wanted this year to try his hand at Winter Olympic sports, and, following the gold medal success of Lizzy Yarnold in Sochi, the skeleton in particular.

He said: "I could be awful at them and if I am I'll put them to bed. I don't want to have that never knowing. I've wanted to try it for years and years, it's just never happened.

"I really want to do skeleton. I love the idea of it. It really excites me."

The Great Britain team for the World Indoors, which gets under way in Sopot, Poland, on March 7, will be selected on Monday and named on Tuesday.

The key decision centres on sprinter James Dasaolu, who leads the world 60m rankings, but is an injury doubt after picking up a suspected thigh strain in winning in Birmingham.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson needs an IAAF wildcard to be selected in the pentathlon, but if she does not get one could still be selected in either the long jump or high jump.