07 September 2016 Strictly Business For Olympian Greg Rutherford NewcastleGateshead

GREG Rutherford will swap sequins for spikes as he takes time off from BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing to compete at the Great North CityGames in Newcastle and Gateshead this weekend.

The Olympic gold and bronze medallist will contest the long jump in the street-level athletics event which will bring some of the world's best athletes to the banks of the Tyne on Saturday, September 10.

Rutherford tops the bill in the field events, fresh from his appearance at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where he finished third in the long jump final.

The popular athlete, who is also two-time World and European champion, was added to the Strictly line-up soon after his return from Brazil, but will set aside all thoughts of dancing as he concentrates on winning his second CityGames title of the year after victory in Manchester back in May.

It will not be plain sailing for the 29-year-old, however, as he faces competition from Australian former world champion Fabrice Lapierre, American Norris Frederick, France's Kafetien Gomis, British indoor long jump silver medallist Dan Gardiner and Uruguayan Emiliano Lasa, who finished sixth in the long jump final in Rio.

Rutherford said: “It'll be nice to get back to the day job for a bit. I love competing here, street athletics meetings are a great idea and with the Olympics having just taken place I'm hoping there will be some people in the crowd who are new to the sport.

“These events provide a perfect entry point for that.

“It'll be tough out there, there are some top quality jumpers competing so it won't be easy for me at all.”

Holly Bradshaw will compete in the pole vault event on the Gateshead side of the Tyne in an afternoon of top-quality athletics which is televised live on BBC One from 2.15pm. The 2013 European Indoor champion and 2012 world indoor bronze medallist jumped a lifetime best 4.70 in Rio and arrives on Tyneside in top form.

She said: “I was very pleased to finish fifth in the Olympic Games and I'm looking forward to returning to Newcastle and Gateshead to compete at the Great North CityGames."

The Great North CityGames, which will be shown live on BBC One from 2.15pm, is part of a weekend celebration of sport in Newcastle, taking place on the same day as the Great North 5k and the Junior and Mini Great North Run on Saturday ahead of Britain's biggest running event, the Great North Run on Sunday 11 September.

For more information and up to date athlete announcements please visit: greatcitygames.org/Newcastle or search #citygames2016

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