British hopes of world gold hit by Idowu's paternity leave
Tuesday 09 March 2010
And then there were three. When the Great Britain team depart for Doha today, ahead of the World Indoor Championships, which open in the Qatari capital on Friday, one of their major hopes for gold will be left at home holding the baby. Phillips Idowu made the late decision yesterday to take paternity leave instead of defending the triple jump title he won in Valencia two years ago. Which leaves British hopes for global indoor gold pinned on the shoulders of Jessica Ennis, Jenny Meadows and Dwain Chambers.
It was not an entirely unexpected decision. Throughout the indoor season, as he has struggled to find the form that took him to the outdoor world title in Berlin last summer, Idowu has vacillated about his Doha intentions. Having accepted a spot on the squad a fortnight ago, team officials made the assumption that the Belgrave Harrier would be competing. The delayed arrival of his second child has dictated otherwise.
"I am gutted not to be representing the Great Britain team in Doha and passing up the opportunity to defend my title," Idowu said yesterday. "However, the late arrival of my baby boy has meant that my training has been severely disrupted and I decided after talking with my coach that I'd not had the preparation we agreed was needed to do the British team proud. I was hoping to avoid this by competing in a larger than usual number of events early in the season, but it hasn't worked out that way."
Charles van Commenee, head coach of UK Athletics, said: "I am disappointed that Phillips is not competing this week as he was a clear medal prospect for us. However, I need to respect his decision and I look forward to him resuming winning ways [at the European Championships] in Barcelona in the summer."
Whether Idowu would have returned to winning ways in Doha is a moot point. The 31-year-old Londoner has won just one of his four indoor competitions this season. Against international opposition in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Birmingham, he has finished fifth, fourth and fourth. He stands sixth in the world rankings with a season's best of 17.25m.
Still, given his recent major championship record, Idowu would have gone to Doha as the man to beat in the triple jump.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in club shops - yet
Nathaniel Clyne joins Liverpool: Transfer news live - Arda Turan decision, Petr Cech reaction, Sergio Ramos to Manchester United
Christian Benteke to Liverpool: Aston Villa striker ready to reject Tottenham
Nigel Pearson: Leicester City sack manager despite Premier League survival
Arda Turan announcement expected on Friday: Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United possible destinations
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...
£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...
£22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This logistics firm are looking...