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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

Guru Careers: Solutions Consultant

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before