Phillips Idowu starts long road back
Triple jumper competes in New York today for first time since injury ended London 2012 bid
Saturday 25 May 2013
Phillips Idowu will return to competition in New York today for the first time since failing to qualify for last summer’s Olympic triple jump final.
The 34-year-old’s build-up to the Games was dogged by injury and intrigue as his increasingly fractious relationship with UK Athletics was laid bare. In the end, a series of problems – neural issues, a jarred hip and pain in the back of his knees – meant he lacked the form and fitness even to jump his way into the Olympic final, let alone have medal aspirations.
In his absence, the American Christian Taylor took Olympic gold and will be the favourite to win the Diamond League competition in New York.
The Big Apple is a fitting venue for Idowu, one of athletics’ bigger characters, the dyed hair and pierced tongue taking to the triple jump runway in anger for the first time in nine months. In that intervening time, Idowu, as was always the plan, has relocated to London after a stint in Birmingham with coach Aston Moore. The pair have also parted, the 2009 world champion now working with Femi Akinsanya, a protégé of Moore’s.
Over the winter, Idowu also took part in a Comic Relief trek down 100 kilometres (62.5 miles) of the Zambezi, entitled Hell and High Water. Where he is in terms of his form this early in the season is impossible to predict. The Londoner has been remarkably under the radar since London 2012.
After the Olympics, he looked disconsolate. “It’s just that I wanted to do Hackney, London and the UK proud,” he said. “I don’t feel I did that and I feel I’ve let a lot of people down who supported me and were rooting for me.” Idowu will be keen to make amends in 2013 and, last year’s Olympics aside, he has habitually been a championship performer. He is a past world, European and Commonwealth Games champion and took silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
But at 34, it remains to be seen if he is still at his peak, while Taylor, the dominant force in triple jumping, has been tipped to break Jonathan Edwards’ 18-year-old world record of 18.29 metres. Taylor’s current best is 17.96m, while Idowu’s best is 17.81m.
Also in action in New York is the pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale, who will be hoping to translate her form from the indoor season, when she won the European Championships.
Fellow Briton Shara Proctor will compete in the long jump while Eilish McColgan – daughter of former 10,000m world champion Liz – takes part in the 3,000m steeplechase, and Michael Bingham runs the 400m.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...