The 29-year-old, pictured, blew away any fitness fears by leaping out to 8.25 metres on his penultimate attempt to overhaul Sweden’s Michel Torneus by just four centimetres.
Rutherford, the Olympic champion, has not tasted defeat at a major championship since 2013, a run which now incorporates two European titles, a world title and a Commonwealth crown.
There were fitness doubts over the Milton Keynes man, given he had not competed for a month but, having sat in second for much of the competition, he pulled out a winning jump when it mattered.
Rutherford’s victory at the Dutch capital’s Olympic Stadium came minutes after Dina Asher-Smith blazed to 200m gold to land her first major senior crown. Asher-Smith’s win marked another breakthrough for the 20-year-old history student, the brightest of Britain’s young sprint hopes.
A kit carrier at London 2012, she flew round the bend to hold a commanding lead heading into the straight as she crossed the line in a season’s best 22.37 seconds. She comfortably beat Ivet Lalova-Collio, her only serious rival in the absence of Holland’s world champion Dafne Schippers, into second.
Tiffany Porter then took Great Britain’s medal tally on day two to three, but the defending champion had to settle for bronze in the 100m hurdles in 12.76.
The Michigan-born sprinter was out of her blocks well, but was chased down by Germany’s Cindy Roleder, who took gold in 12.62, and Alina Talay from Belarus.
Christine Ohuruogu, still looking to seal her spot on Britain’s team for the Rio Olympics after missing the trials due to a virus, progressed to the 400m final, stepping up her level to take 0.65 off her season’s best in clocking 51.35.