Idowu leaps ahead as Rutherford medal quest fails

Phillips Idowu's prospects of winning the Olympic triple jump title came on in leaps and bounds here yesterday as he reached Thursday's final with his first qualifying effort of 17.44 metres, a full 34cm further than the mark required.

But the 29-year-old from Hackney in London will want to avoid emulating the experience of fellow Briton Greg Rutherford, who could only finish 10th in last night's long jump final despite having reached it with a similar flourish to Idowu.

Rutherford, who had to take a year out with an ankle injury following his European silver medal win in 2006, was close to tears after failing to do better than 7.84m – 36cm less than he jumped to win the British trials – in a competition where gold went to Panama's world No 1 Irving Saladino in a relatively conservative 8.34m. Had the 21-year-old from Milton Keynes been able to jump in Beijing as he had in Birmingham, he would have had a bronze.

"I had massive high hopes and I know what I can jump," Rutherford said. "I was expecting a medal and I've probably just lost my best-ever chance of getting an Olympic medal. I could feel the pressure a lot and I thought I could deal with it. It's a wasted opportunity.

"It is a massive disappointment. If someone had pulled out a massive jump, then at least I could say 'he jumped far'. But people weren't exactly jumping well out there. I don't know why.

"Qualification went well. It felt easy and I thought, 'I am going to go out here and get myself a medal'. All day I was thinking about was the possibility of being the first British athletics medal at this Olympics and I knew I was capable of doing it. I will be angry more than anything when I look back."

While Rutherford's big chance may lie four years down the line at the London Games, Idowu's is now. Four years ago he qualified without undue fuss in Athens, but then failed to register a mark in the final. This looks likely to be a far happier experience.

Christian Malcolm reached today's 200m semi-finals in 20.30sec, the sixth fastest qualifying time, and was joined by team-mate Marlon Devonish, who was a fastest loser after facing the testing challenge of running in the next lane to the stellar Jamaican Usain Bolt in his second round heat. Bolt ambled through in 20.29sec.

While Rutherford despaired, Sarah Claxton and Tasha Danvers rejoiced after reaching the finals of the 100m and 400m hurdles respectively.

Meanwhile, Martyn Rooney, who has said he will have had a "bad championships" if he does not make the Olympic final, has taken a firm stride towards it by winning his opening 400m heat in 45sec. His team-mate Andrew Steele went even faster, achieving a personal best of 44.94sec.

It will be the women's 400m which earns the bulk of attention here today, however, as Britain's world champion Christine Ohuruogu faces Sanya Richards of the United States.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas