Idowu sets target of Olympic gold and world record

Just in case anyone was still in any doubt, Phillips Idowu clarified his status as British athletics' leading Beijing contender here yesterday, declaring after an imperious triple jump victory at the Aviva Olympic trials that he was aiming to win gold in China and break the world record. Although not necessarily in that order.

For other key figures in the domestic scene, however, there was only uncertainty. The world marathon record holder, Paula Radcliffe, back into tentative training following recovery from a stress fracture of her thigh, will undergo a series of scans at the British Olympic Medical Centre at Northwick Park before re-assessing her progress.

And while Dean Macey struggled to finish a decathlon in Hexham that left him contemplating the possibility of retirement, a number of other familiar figures – including the Athens heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton, world 400 metres silver medallist Nicola Sanders and Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Marlon Devonish – left Birmingham with important questions still to be answered.

Idowu, who won with 17.59 metres, said the mark of 18.29m that stands to his former team-mate Jonathan Edwards was within his scope, adding: "It doesn't matter if I achieve it before or at the Olympics. I still have the aim to win the Games. Jonathan has said in the past that if anyone is capable of the world record then I am and I believe that, too. I have the benefit of knowing what it took him to get there.

"In Olympic year people lose their minds and people come out of woodwork, but I'm not expecting someone to come out of the woodwork. Whatever anyone does, hopefully I'm in good enough shape to respond.

"I can probably put another 80cms to a metre on to what I'm doing," said the 29-year-old world indoor champion, "so 18.40 is not beyond my capabilities. If I nail one right and run through the way I can do and complete my jump properly it's not a problem.

"I need to remain injury-free and keep progressing and you'll see something special," he said, adding that he was hoping for "a massive jump" at the Aviva London Grand Prix on 25-26 July. "It could be something serious," he said. "Keep your eyes open and if the conditions are right then there will be something special.

"I did enough today to make sure I get on the plane. I'm in great shape. It's comfortable and I'm loving it. I'm having fun. I didn't feel any added pressure. I just go out and do what I've been doing all year, jumping big distances and winning. I wanted to come and win by half a metre. That was my ambition. I'm comfortable being British No 1. That's the way I need to be."

Sotherton, Britain's sole medal hope in the heptathlon now that Jessica Ennis is out with a broken ankle, endured an underwhelming weekend, following up Saturday's disappointing performances in the high jump and shot putt with two more low-key outings in the long jump and javelin. In the first event, where she finished second, two centimetres behind an equally grumpy Jade Johnson, with 6.28m, she had to take an early leave for fear of exacerbating a thigh injury.

"I tore my quad a couple of weeks ago so pulling out of the long jump was precautionary"' she said. "Hopefully there is nothing to worry about."

Thankfully, she was still in shape to contest the javelin, her bogey event. She could only throw 34.31m, but it was her best for three years. "This has been my worst ever year for injuries and setbacks," she added.

Sanders, back in action this season after a knee injury, had to withdraw from the 400m on Friday after experiencing a "niggle" while warming up for her heat, while Devonish announced after finishing a disappointed seventh in the 100m final that he was pulling out of the 200m because of a virus. In his absence, Christian Malcolm returned to form with victory in 20.53sec, an Olympic qualifying mark, just ahead of another likely traveller to China, Alex Nelson.

For some of Britain's brightest young things, however, the weekend was full of encouragement. On Saturday Greg Rutherford produced one of the performances of the meeting by winning the long jump in an Olympic qualifying mark of 8.20m, a win he dedicated to his grandfather, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The 19-year-old Bow athlete Perry Shakes-Drayton pushed her Olympic claims with a hugely promising victory in the 400m hurdles while, in Bydgozcz, Poland, 18-year-old Steph Twell won the world junior 1500m title in 4min 15.09sec, with Emma Pallant taking bronze in 4.15.09.

"I came here to win it and I did it," said Twell, who is likely now to be named in the British team that will be announced today.

* The former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell will be out of action for a fortnight having pulled out of this week's Golden League meeting in Paris.

* Jamaica’s Usain Bolt ran the fastest 200 metres of the year at the Athens Grand Prix yesterday. The 21-year-old clocked 19.67 seconds – the fifth fastest time ever over the distance

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin