IT was smiles all round as two top athletes stopped off at Merry Hill for a sporting showcase ahead of the Olympic Games.

Hurdling champion Colin Jackson and London 2012 long jump hopeful, Greg Rutherford met Dudley College’s Athletic Squad who demonstrated their long jump techniques in a indoor sand pit in the middle of Eat Central.

The pair also received a grilling from year five pupils from Ashwood Park Primary School, who - having studied ‘Going for Gold’ as their term topic - quizzed the athletes on issues such as training, diet, the Olympic village, injuries and even how many pairs of shoes they own.

Colin, who is set to commentate on the forthcoming games, said he hoped the event would help inspire the next generation of athletes.

He said: “What is very important is that young people try out new sports. In the Olympic Games they will see sports that they may never have seen before and hopefully they will want to try them and have a go themselves.”

Meanwhile Greg said he was hopeful of beating his personal best of jumping over eight metres.

He said: “A home Olympics is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is great that I can take part in it. It couldn’t have fallen at a better time for me, I just have to jump longer than I’ve ever jumped before.”