• Greg Rutherford won the gold medal for Great Britain in the men’s long jump at the World Championships in Beijing
  • Rutherford has become fifth British athlete to hold Olympic, Commonwealth, European & world titles at same time
  • The 28-year-old joins Daley Thompson, Sally Gunnell, Jonathan Edwards and Linford Christie to have achieved feat
  • Team rebel Rutherford has caused controversy with his extraordinary criticism of UK Athletics in recent weeks
  • Rutherford complained on Twitter over the lack of a Union flag on the competition vest for the World Championships

Martha Kelner for MailOnline

Greg Rutherford was blasted by Michael Johnson for sounding off too much in the run up to this World Championships but he silenced his critics in spectacular style by winning a fourth global title.

He joins an elite band of British athletes who have completed athletics grand slam of holding all four major championships titles at the same time. With a 8.41m jump in the third round – 21cm better than any of his rivals – the 28-year-old reigning Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion, clinched the World Championships gold medal that had eluded him thus far. 

Daley Thompson, Sally Gunnell, Jonathan Edwards and Linford Christie are the only other British athletes to have boasted all four titles at the same time.

Greg Rutherford has won gold for Great Britain in the men's long jump at the World Championships in Beijing to claim all four major titles

Greg Rutherford has won gold for Great Britain in the men’s long jump at the World Championships in Beijing to claim all four major titles

The Milton Keynes-born athlete produced his furthest jump of the year when he needed it most, soaring out to 8.41 metres

The Milton Keynes-born athlete produced his furthest jump of the year when he needed it most, soaring out to 8.41 metres

With a 8.41m jump in the third round, the 28-year-old reigning Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion, clinched the gold medal

With a 8.41m jump in the third round, the 28-year-old reigning Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion, clinched the gold medal

The long jumper couldn't contain his emotions and wiped away the tears after sealing an historic gold for Great Britain in Beijing

The long jumper couldn’t contain his emotions and wiped away the tears after sealing an historic gold for Great Britain in Beijing

It was an emotional and historic day for the Great British Athlete as he silenced his critics in spectacular style by winning gold

It was an emotional and historic day for the Great British Athlete as he silenced his critics in spectacular style by winning gold

Rutherford joins Sally Gunnell, Daley Thompson, Linford Christie and Jonathan Edwards to have achieved the feat of winning the four titles

Rutherford joins Sally Gunnell, Daley Thompson, Linford Christie and Jonathan Edwards to have achieved feat of winning the four titles

The team rebel has caused controversy with his extraordinary criticism of UK Athletics in recent weeks but he was delighted with the win

The team rebel has caused controversy with his extraordinary criticism of UK Athletics in recent weeks but he was delighted with the win

After his gold medal was confirmed, Rutherford raised his arms aloft in celebration and went to retrieve a Union flag from fan in the stands

After his gold medal was confirmed, Rutherford raised his arms aloft in celebration and went to retrieve a Union flag from fan in the stands

The British athlete was in no mood to perform a low-key celebration and he shouted towards the stands after sealing his gold medal

The British athlete was in no mood to perform a low-key celebration and he shouted towards the stands after sealing his gold medal

After triumphing in Beijing, Rutherford leaped over the advertising boards to collect a Union Jack flag from a spectator in the stands 

After triumphing in Beijing, Rutherford leaped over the advertising boards to collect a Union Jack flag from a spectator in the stands 

After retrieving the Union flag waistcoat from a fan in the stands, Rutherford sarcastically waved it at the nearest TV camera

After retrieving the Union flag waistcoat from a fan in the stands, Rutherford sarcastically waved it at the nearest TV camera

RUTHERFORD’S CLEAN SWEEP OF MAJOR TITLE SUCCESSES 

Olympic Games, London (2012)

Rutherford started ‘Super Saturday’ in style, kicking off a barely-believable 45 minutes with long jump victory as Jessica Ennis-Hill was being introduced ahead of her final heptathlon event. Mo Farah completed the set on a remarkable night at the Olympic Stadium, where a jump of 8.31 metres was enough to secure gold.

Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (2014)

A year after fearing his career was over, Rutherford defied the doubters who branded his Olympic gold a fluke by landing the Commonwealth long jump title. His winning distance of 8.20m secured victory at Hampden Park to put the injury-ruined 2013 season firmly behind him.

European Championships, Zurich (2014)

Two years on from the high of his London triumph on ‘Super Saturday’, the 28-year-old added the European Championship to his growing list of honours. Rutherford’s impressive leap of 8.29m secured victory by a 14-centimetre margin in Zurich.

World Championships, Beijing (2015)

Rutherford completed the full set of major titles by leaping for gold at the Bird’s Nest. Producing his furthest jump of the year when he needed it most, the Milton Keynes athlete’s 8.41m effort was enough to secure victory in a week which his extraordinary criticism of UK Athletics dominated the headlines.

After his gold medal was confirmed, Rutherford raised his arms aloft in celebration and retrieved a Union flag waistcoat from a fan in the stands, which he sarcastically waved at the nearest TV camera. 

He has been involved in a spat with British Athletics, the sport’s national governing body, over the last two weeks which started with a complaint on Twitter over the lack of a Union flag on the competition vest for the World Championships. 

Rutherford also accused British Athletics of being more of a ‘hindrance than a help’ to his career. His outspoken manner appears to have ruffled a few feathers and after qualifying for the final yesterday he noted a ‘few awkward moments in the lift’ at the official British team hotel.

Rutherford has often complained of people criticising him for being ‘flukey’ but he certainly knows how to perform on the biggest stages. After a massive no-jump in the first round he consulted with his coach Dan Pfaff and took the lead with a leap of 8.29m, which he then extended to 8.41m in the fourth round.

It was his second longest jump of all-time, after the national record of 8.51m set at a small meeting in San Diego last year, which his British team-mate Chris Tomlinson said was illegitimate.

Usain Bolt set up a tantalising rematch with Justin Gatlin after getting the better of the American drugs cheat in the 100m final on Sunday. The pair both comfortably advanced from their heats of the 200m.  

Great Britain's Rutherford celebrates with his coach Dan Pfaff following his historic victory in the men's long jump

Great Britain’s Rutherford celebrates with his coach Dan Pfaff following his historic victory in the men’s long jump

Rutherford had criticised British Athletics over the lack of a Union flag on the competition vest - and he showed off the flag after his win

Rutherford had criticised British Athletics over the lack of a Union flag on the competition vest – and he showed off the flag after his win

Long jumper holds firmly onto the flag and shows his surprise as the reality of an historic win for Great British athletics begins to set in

Long jumper holds firmly onto the flag and shows his surprise as the reality of an historic win for Great British athletics begins to set in

Rutherford holds his head in his hands after his men's long jump success at the World Championships earned him a fourth global title

Rutherford holds his head in his hands after his men’s long jump success at the World Championships earned him a fourth global title

He received no real challenge in a competition littered with fouls, taking the lead from round two in the final

He received no real challenge in a competition littered with fouls, taking the lead from round two in the final

Bolt bowed to the camera and held up five fingers and a thumb to represent this six world titles he now has, before storming to victory in his heat in 20.28sec, despite shutting down 50m from the line. Gatlin also got through in 20.19sec.

Bolt said it was going to be harder to defeat Gatlin in the 200m. ‘The race itself was good but I’m feeling tired,’ he said, ‘It’s been an up and down season so I knew the 200m was going to be harder because I’m not in the best fitness shape that I wanted. Hopefully I can get my technique right and we’ll see what happens through the rounds.’

Meanwhile Gatlin, who has banned the British press from speaking to him told American journalists his Chinese fans were keeping him going. ‘I’m pretty much a native to China now,’ he said, ‘I’ve been here so many times, I think that’s where I gather a lot of my fan base here.’

Christine Ohuruogu, renowned for her ability to peak at major championships, ran a season’s best of 50.16sec to advance to the 400m final with the fourth fastest time. 

If she wants to defend the title she won in Moscow in 2013, she will need to beat the supremely talented Allyson Felix, who jogged to a 49.89 victory in her semi-final. 

RUTHERFORD JOINS AN ELITE CLUB OF BRITISH ATHLETES 

Greg Rutherford has joined an elite club of British athletes to have at the same time held the Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World titles:

Daley Thompson (decathlon)

Considered one of the greatest British athletes of all time, he won Olympic gold in 1980 and 1984, as well as the World Championship crown in 1983. That completed the set having secured the European and Commonwealth crowns the previous year.

Linford Christie (100 metres)

Still Britain’s fastest man, the 55-year-old won 100m gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Victory in Stuttgart the following year secured him the world crown, completing the set having won the Europeans and Commonwealths in 1990.

Sally Gunnell (400m hurdles)

Like Christie, Gunnell too won her event at the 1992 Olympics Games and followed it up in 1993 at the Worlds. A victorious European Championship the following year wrapped it up, having won the Commonwealths in 1990 – a title she retained weeks after victory in Helsinki.

Jonathan Edwards (triple jump)

Before Rutherford the most recent addition to the club, Edwards started with victory at the European Championships of 1998. Olympic gold two years later continued his march, completed with triumphs at the Worlds of 2001 and Commonwealth Games the following year in Manchester. 

Rutherford followed in the footsteps of his fellow 'Super Saturday' gold medallists from London 2012, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill

Rutherford followed in the footsteps of his fellow ‘Super Saturday’ gold medallists from London 2012, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill

The 28-year-old Brit won ahead of second placed Fabrice Lapierre (left) of Australia and third-placed Jianan Wang (right) of China

The 28-year-old Brit won ahead of second placed Fabrice Lapierre (left) of Australia and third-placed Jianan Wang (right) of China

Rutherford celebrates with long jump legend Mike Powell of the United States after taking the gold medal at Bird's Nest stadium

Rutherford celebrates with long jump legend Mike Powell of the United States after taking the gold medal at Bird’s Nest stadium

In 2012, he became the first British man to win the Olympic long jump since Lynn Davies famously made his leap of fame back in 1964

In 2012, he became the first British man to win the Olympic long jump since Lynn Davies famously made his leap of fame back in 1964

Rutherford then followed up his success at the London 2012 Olympics with Commonwealth gold at last summer's Glasgow Games

Rutherford then followed up his success at the London 2012 Olympics with Commonwealth gold at last summer’s Glasgow Games

The 28-year-old secured his place at the top of the long jump podium at the European Championships with an impressive leap of 8.29m

The 28-year-old secured his place at the top of the long jump podium at the European Championships with an impressive leap of 8.29m

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Who is this week’s top commenter?
Find out now