Tamgho gives Idowu some food for thought
Friday 01 July 2011
Before taking to the triple jump runway for the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne last night, Phillips Idowu, the reigning world and European champion, spoke affectionately of Teddy Tamgho, the rapidly emerging force of the hop, step and jump game. "He's like my little brother," the 32-year-old Briton said of the 22-year-old Frenchman. "He's the reason why I can't sit back and rest on my laurels."
Indeed not. Tamgho only managed one valid jump in what was the ninth meeting between the pair but it was good enough to secure his third victory against Idowu – and more than sufficient to underline just how big a threat he is likely to pose at the World Championships in South Korea.
Tamgho's third-round jump of 17.91m was 7cm shy of his lifetime best but the best in the world this year and precisely 10cm farther than Idowu has ever ventured. The Briton's best last night was 17.52m, which gave him second place and a good deal of food for thought. Tamgho has yet to master the art of consistency but as the watching Jonathan Edwards observed: "He's the one athlete since I retired who could perhaps break my world record." The Gateshead Harrier's global mark has stood unchallenged at 18.29m since 1995.
There was one notable British winner last night. Dai Greene underlined his World Championship medal potential with an astutely judged victory in the 400 metres hurdles. Winner of the European, Commonwealth and Continental Cup titles last year, the 25-year-old Welshman hit the front at the head of the home straight and proved too strong for Javier Culson, the 2009 World Championship silver medallist from Puerto Rico, finishing 0.32sec clear in 48.41sec.
"I told my coach, 'I need to be winning races like this'," Greene reflected. "I'm in the world top three, I need to make sure I stay there." The reigning world champion Kerron Clement of the US came third.
The men's 100m produced the fastest time in the world this year, Asafa Powell powering to a decisive victory in 9.78sec. Powell's Jamaican compatriot Michael Frater took second in 9.88sec, with the French flyer Christophe Lemaitre equalling his national record of 9.95sec in third.
A strong head wind in the women's 100m hurdles denied Tiffany Ofili-Porter a second British record of the summer. The former US athlete eclipsed Angie Thorp's 15-year-old UK record with a time of 12.77sec in May and last night she clocked a stunning 12.64sec – finishing third behind Australian Sally Pearson (12.47sec) and American Dianne Carruthers (12.48). The wind gauge, however, read plus 3.3 metres-per-second, 1.3 above the legal limit.
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