Greg Rutherford, the defending long jump champion, has taken the decision to withdraw from Team England for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The 31-year-old took the difficult decision having reflected upon the challenges he faces following a period away from competitive athletics.

The Glasgow 2014 gold medallist said:

“Withdrawing from Team England is not a decision that’s been easy for me to make. 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.

“I want to wish the team all the very best out in Australia.”

Jacob Paul (400m hurdles) who was fifth at last summer’s European U23 Championships and took the silver medal at the 2017 British Championships, has now been selected for what will be his first major senior Games.