There was a time when Phillips Idowu was like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates: you never knew what you were going to get when he set off down the triple jump runway. Now, having gained a level of consistency that has taken him to the top of the hop, step and jump game with World Championship titles indoors and out, the big Belgrave Harrier is becoming something like Churchill's vision of Russia: a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Twice last week Idowu declined to say whether he would be defending his world indoor crown in Doha next week. "If you see me in the world indoors, you'll see me in the world indoors," he said.
"If not, then I'll have chosen not to go – and I'll have my own reasons for that." Yesterday the north Londoner's name could be seen in the 36-strong Great Britain squad for the World Indoor Championships, which run in the Aspire Dome in the Qatari capital from 12 to 14 March.
That would mean there would be four major British contenders for gold in Doha. Dwain Chambers, a silver medallist in 2008, heads the world rankings at 60m with 6.50sec. Jenny Meadows stands second in the global order at 800m with the British record she set in Birmingham on Saturday, 1 min 59.11sec. And Jessica Ennis remains in the kind of shape that has taken her to eight personal bests in 2010. Idowu's form, by his own admission and standards, has been "average" thus far in the indoor season. Christian Olsson, the 2004 Olympic champion is steadily regaining form after three years of injury trouble. But Idowu is unconcerned about the re-emerging Swede. "He's just another competitor," the Briton insisted.
Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the World Indoor Championships
60m: D Chambers, H Aikines-Aryeetey; 400m: R Buck, D Garland; 800m: A Osagie, E Aston; 1500m: T Bayley; 3000m: S Overall; 4x400m: R Buck, D Garland, C Clarke, N Levine, C Williams, L Lennon-Ford; High Jump: S Oni, T Parsons; Pole Vault: S Lewis; Long Jump: G Rutherford, C Tomlinson; Triple Jump: P Idowu; Shot: C Myerscough.
60m: J Maduaka; 800m: J Meadows, V Griffiths; 1500m: H Clitheroe, Charlotte Best; 3000m: G Turtle, B Parker; 60mH: G Bennett; 4x400m: V Barr, H Jones, D Hunt, L McConnell, P Shakes-Drayton, K Wall; High Jump: V Hubbard; Pentathlon: J Ennis.