Team GB mystery man Phillips Idowu arrives at Olympic Village

 

The saga of Phillips Idowu's fitness and whereabouts has been fascinating or irritating depending on your point of view, but the so-called “Invisible Man” of British athletics will finally be seen tomorrow.

That is, of course, assuming the Beijing silver medallist turns up for triple jump qualifying at 10:45am in the Olympic Stadium, something which cannot be taken for granted despite his arrival in the athletes' village yesterday.

Idowu claims his arrival was "as planned months ago" and that for the last few weeks he has simply been in his home city of London, finalising his preparation and receiving therapy, easily reachable by the "appropriate people".

In contrast, UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee said last week he was perplexed that Idowu had turned his back on UKA and his own coach Aston Moore, who had only received a brief text before Idowu cut off contact.

Amid such claim and counter-claim it is hard to know what sort of shape Idowu will be in tomorrow, when he will need to jump 17.10m to qualify automatically for Thursday's final.

Usually that would be no problem for the 33-year-old, who won World Championship gold in 2009 having only been denied the Olympic title by five centimetres the year before.

But one of the few indisputable facts in the whole sorry affair is that he has competed just three times in 2012, winning his first two competitions in Holland and Shanghai but then finishing third in Eugene when he completed just three jumps before withdrawing citing concerns over the wet conditions.

Since then he has pulled out of various meetings, most notably the Olympic trials at the last minute and the London Grand Prix just 25 minutes before the triple jump was due to start.

However, even Van Commenee - who has not spoken to Idowu since a row over the latter's withdrawal from last year's European Team Championships - believes Idowu will be a medal contender if the British Olympic Association's verdict on his fitness proves correct and, as the whole saga has shown, anything is possible.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific