Ashes battle of a different kind at IAAF meet in Australia.
British Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford repeated his London Games triumph over Australia’s Mitchell Watt with victory at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge on Saturday.
Rutherford won with a best leap of 8.10 metres in the fourth round, while Watt registered 8.01m to again finish second.
Fellow Australian and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Fabrice Lapierre was third with 7.99m.
“Every competitor always wants to win, Mitch is a friend of mine so it is not like a bad competition ever,” Rutherford said.
“Ultimately he wants to beat me and I want to beat him but we are always still mates.
“I didn’t think I would jump as well as I did today.
“An 8.10m isn’t anything massively special but blimey we are in the early part of the year and waking up this morning I didn’t expect to be able to jump that well so early.”
Rutherford jumped 8.31m at last year’s London Games to relegate favourite Watt (8.16m) to the silver medal position.
In other events, Australian Olympian Josh Ross upset American Wallace Spearmon to win a thrilling 100m.
His winning time of 10.25secs was four-hundredths of a second outside the B qualifier for the Moscow world championships in August.
Spearmon, who ran a wind-assisted 9.92secs at last weekend’s Texas Relays, was fourth in 10.29secs, having won the 200m earlier in the meet in 20.79secs.
Newly-crowned world cross-country champion Japhet Korir from Kenya was an impressive winner of the 5000m in 13:31.94.