Phillips Idowu clouds Team GB's golden hopes

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Van Commenee has no idea if triple jumper is fit – because they don't speak to each other

When all of the 'i's were dotted, the 't's crossed and the names of the 77 athletes printed on the British track and field team sheet for the London Olympics – the largest GB squad of runners, jumpers and throwers since the Barcelona Games of 1992 – there were some questions left unanswered. One above all others.

Even accounting for the fluctuation of fitness and form, the team announced by Charles van Commenee – in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium yesterday – looks to be in shape to hit the head coach's long-term target of eight medals, including one gold. What remains an utter mystery is whether Phillips Idowu, the olden golden boy from Hackney, is in any kind of condition to hop, step and jump for backyard glory next month.

The much bemedalled Belgrave Harrier – the 2009 world champion and 2008 Olympic runner-up – has not competed since jarring his foot in the Diamond League meeting in Eugene on 2 June. When Idowu failed to appear at the trials in Birmingham two weeks ago, Van Commenee declined to divulge whether the 33-year-old Londoner was injured, citing "medical confidentiality."

At the team announcement yesterday, Van Commenee shrugged his shoulders when asked for an update. The Dutchman had a very public falling out with Idowu last summer over the disputed terms of the athlete's withdrawal from the European Team Championships in Stockholm. The pair have not spoken since and, even though Idowu's coach, Aston Moore, happens to be on Van Commenee's staff at UK Athletics, the head coach said he had not asked about Idowu's fitness since before the trials.

"He was injured and therefore he did not compete at the trials," Van Commenee said of Idowu, whom, if anywhere close to fitness, would be a gold medal shot. "I said then he is aiming to compete at Crystal Palace [in the London Grand Prix next week].

"Since then, I have not been involved in the Phillips Idowu situation because I had the trials and European Championships and then selection. I have always said I don't communicate with him directly.

"I speak with his coach. His coach is employed by UK Athletics. I'm his boss. I speak to him at least weekly. He's also coach to Tom Parsons, until recently Kelly Sotherton, and Louise Hazel.

"That communication has always been there. From him, I know what's going on. I've been in contact with Aston about Phillips until a few days before the trials. Since then I've been busy. I don't know now."

It was suggested to Van Commenee that it was "amazing" for a head coach not to have enquired about the fitness of one of his major players. "I would find it amazing if I had acted differently," he replied. "If you find it amazing, use that word.

"I am not relaxed. How could I be? Athlete injured. Athlete pulls out of the trials. Last time I had contact about it was a few days before the trials. Since then I have had to select 77 athletes and review about 110. I have had different things on my mind. If it doesn't make sense, it's still my sense."

Was it a difficult decision to select an athlete whose state of fitness was in doubt? "It was not difficult," Van Commenee said. "He's the former world champion and number two in the world last year. He's got a proven track record. His selection does not exclude any other athletes, so it's a no-brainer.

"In the selection there is a policy to deselect athletes who prove not to be fit. At the moment it is silly not to select a man who jumped in early June when he injured himself. That is his decision. If you had a heart condition then it is your right to keep it to yourself. I cannot, and the doctors cannot, break that.

"We will know very soon. He is aiming to compete at Crystal Palace. That's all I know."

The absence of such a consistent medal winner would undoubtedly be a blow to the British team – and would narrow the margin for error on the medal target front for Van Commenee, who reiterated his intention to resign if his team falls short. "If I didn't, I would lose my credibility," he said, "and I could never function without credibility."

Medal detectors: CLICK HERE for our selections to reach Van Commenee's target of eight medals

Team GB athletics

Men

A Gemili age 18, 100m and 4x100m

D Chambers 34, 100m and 4x100m

J Dasaolu 24, 100m and 4x100m

C Malcolm 33, 200m and 4x100m

J Ellington 26, 200m and 4x100m

M Rooney 25, 400m and 4x400m

C Williams 30, 400m and 4x400m

N Levine 23, 400m and 4x400m

A Osagie 24, 800m

M Rimmer 26, 800m

R Murray 22, 1500m

A Baddeley 30, 1500m

N McCormick 30, 5,000m

M Farah 29, 5,000m and 10,000m

C Thompson 31, 10,000m

S Stokes 35, 3,000m steeplechase

L Clarke 22, 110m hurdles

A Pozzi 20, 110m hurdles

A Turner 31, 110m hurdles

D Greene 26, 400m hurdles and 4x400m

J Green 20, 400m hurdles and 4x400m

R Williams 28, 400m hurdles

R Grabarz 24, high jump

S Lewis 26, pole vault

G Rutherford 25, long jump

C Tomlinson 30, long jump

P Idowu 33, triple jump

M Luckwell 27, javelin

L Okoye 20, discus

B Morse 23, discus

A Buhari 30, discus

C Myerscough 32, shot put

A Smith 24, hammer

D Awde 24, decathlon

D King 29, 50km walk

D Talbot 21, 4x100m

S Williamson 26, 4x100m

M Lewis-Francis 29, 4x100m

R Buck 25, 4x400m

L Lennon-Ford 23, 4x400m

R Tobin 28, 4x400m

Previously selected for marathon:

S Overall 29

D Webb 29

L Merrien 33

Women

A Oyepitan age 32, 100m and 200m

A Onuora 27, 100m and 200m

M Adeoye 27, 200m

C Ohuruogu 28, 400m and 4x400m

S Cox 27, 400m and 4x400m

L McConnell 33, 400m and 4x400m

L Sharp 21, 800m

L Weightman 21, 1500m

L Dobriskey 28, 1500m

H England 25, 1500m

J Pavey 38, 5,000m and 10,000m

J Bleasdale 30, 5,000m and 10,000m

B Parker 29, 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase

E McColgan 21, 3,000m steeplechase

J Jackson 27, 20km walk

T Porter 24, 100m hurdles

P Shakes-Drayton 23, 400m hurdles

E Child 25, 400m hurdles

H Bleasdale 20, pole vault

K Dennison 28, pole vault

S Proctor 23, long jump

Y Aldama 39, triple jump

S Hitchon 20, hammer

G Sayers 29, javelin

J Ennis 26, heptathlon and 100m hurdles

K Johnson-Thompson 18, heptathlon

L Hazel 26, heptathlon

M Okoro 27, 4x400m

N Sanders 30, 4x400m

E Diamond 21, 4x400m

Previously selected for marathon:

P Radcliffe 38

M Yamauchi 38

C Hallissey 29

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering