Greg Rutherford announces he will not defend his Commonwealth Games title

Greg Rutherford won gold in the long jump at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Credit: PA

Milton Keynes athlete Greg Rutherford has announced he will not be defending his long jump title at this year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The 31-year-old won gold in Glasgow four years ago, but has withdrawn from the Team England squad for the upcoming championships on the Gold Coast in April.

Rutherford said he'd made the decision because he didn't feel he'd had enough training in the lead-up to event after taking some time away from competitive athletics.

Rutherford celebrates his victory in 2014. Credit: PA

“Withdrawing from Team England is not a decision that’s been easy for me to make," he said in a statement.

"However, in previous years I’ve attended major championships without a good training block behind me and my performance has suffered as a result.

“I really would have loved to have been involved with the team. The Commonwealth Games have been brilliant over the years for me and my two medals from three Games have been highlights for me.

“I am planning on easing myself back into competition, possibly indoors, and then building to the summer season."

400m hurdles runner Jacob Paul has taken Rutherford's place in the squad.