Rutherford not deterred from Rio 2016 despite suffering hearing damage


Greg Rutherford will not be deterred from competing at Rio 2016 despite suffering hearing damage.

The reigning Olympic long jump champion picked up the severe ear problem called cochlea hydrops after sustaining whiplash during the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham last month.

Although his chances of making a full recovery are only 25 per cent, Rutherford is not planning to take any time out to aid his recovery ahead of the Games in Brazil.

"I knew I shouldn't have jumped in Birmingham because I felt really stiff," said Rutherford, who will return to action at the European Championships in Amsterdam this week.

"If the room falls silent for a moment all I hear is loud white noise, so it's been a struggle to sleep. I've gone from hearing in stereo to mono.

"It's odd because during your career you work to put yourself in peak physical condition, but then you bear the brunt of it for the rest of your life, but I'll just have to take that risk.

"Hopefully it [normal hearing] will come back but there's a one in four chance it never will fully recover, according to the doctor.

"It's quite scary to hear that, because you always get told there's a one in 20,000 chance or a one in a million chance.

"I hope it won't affect my jumping but it's certainly not fun. It does bring you down.

"If it wasn't Olympic year I would quite possibly be taking some time out to get it sorted, but I like winning medals. I'll just have to take that risk."

It is another unwelcome health issue for Rutherford, who also revealed he suffered a bout of appendicitis earlier this year.

"I woke up with chronic pain in my stomach and that then progressed," he said.

"I just had antibiotics and luckily it went away and there's nothing to suggest it will be a recurring problem.

"It was two weeks before I jumped 8.30 metres in Long Beach [on April 16], so it doesn't seem to have affected me too much."